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Adolescents are individuals aged 10 to 19 years. In Nigeria, adolescents make up about 22% of the population. The health needs of adolescents differ with culture, geographical location, climate changes and other factors. The inclusion of adolescents’ expectations and perspectives in the planning process of their health programmes may increase the uptake of adolescent health services. This study assessed the perceived priority health needs of adolescents who seek care at the out-patients’ departments
(OPD) of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti.
This was a hospital-based cross-sectional study conducted among adolescents, aged 10 to 19 years, who visited the General and Paediatrics OPDs of EKSUTH between August and November 2019. Adolescents who were married, had learning disabilities or critically ill were excluded. Self-administered questionnaires were used.
Two hundred and ninety respondents completed the questionnaire with more females (163; 56.2%) and those from high socioeconomic class (128; 44.1%). Infectious diseases and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) were ranked highest as health priorities by 103 (35.5%) and 87 (30.0%) participants respectively followed by mental health and chronic illnesses. The health needs of least priority were substance abuse, nutritional challenges and physical challenges/disability.
This study highlights the most important health needs of adolescents attending this tertiary facility. The information from this study may assist healthcare authorities to adequately plan adolescent health programs in this setting.
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