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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 138-145

Digital habits and use of the internet as source of sexual and reproductive health information among undergraduates in northern Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria; School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR), The University of Sheffield, U.K
2 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Health Policy & Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence Address:
Z Iliyasu
Centre for Infectious Disease Research, College of Health Sciences, Bayero University Kano

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1115-2613.278286

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BACKGROUND: Surfing the internet and networking via social media have evolved at a startling pace. OBJECTIVES: To determine internet and social media habits and identify predictors of their use as sexual and reproductive health resource among Bayero University students. STUDY DESIGN: A cross section of 385 students was interviewed using pre-tested anonymous structured selfcompleted questionnaires. RESULTS: Nearly all students 98.4% (n=377) had accessed the internet and most 96.3% (n=363) had visited social media sites.Face book 57.3% (n=208),Twitter 22.3% (n=81) and Blackberry Messenger 8.8% (n=32) were the most popular among students.Of those with internet access, 51.2%, 46.2%, 39.2% and 38.5% mainly searched for information on HIV/AIDS, STI, sexual activities and menstrual problems respectively. There was more than twofold likelihood of accessing online sexual information among female students compared to males, adjusted Odds ratio (aOR=2.52); 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI= 2.41-4.86). Similarly, ever-married students had more than twice the chance relative to single students (aOR=2.2, 95%CI=1.17-4.28). Furthermore, younger students (<20 years) were twice more likely to have used online resources compared to their older colleagues (=30 years) (aOR=2.12,95%CI=1.32-4.17). CONCLUSION: Undergraduate students are increasingly turning to the internet for sexual and reproductive health information.This presents an opportunity for programming.


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