Journal of Public Health

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 443–451 | Cite as

In-school adolescents’ knowledge, access to and use of sexual and reproductive health services in Metropolitan Kumasi, Ghana

  • Godfred Amankwaa
  • Kabila Abass
  • Razak Mohammed GyasiEmail author
Original Article



Problematic access to and use of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services potentially endanger the well-being of adolescents and retards progress towards attainment of United Nations health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Drawing on a qualitative research approach, this paper examines the level of SRH-related knowledge, service access and use among school-going adolescents in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana.


We conducted 12 focus group discussions and 18 in-depth interviews with 132 in-school adolescents and six healthcare providers in the metropolis. A thematic analytical framework was used to analyse the data.


Findings suggest that the majority of adolescents had good knowledge about the available SRH services, with an emphasis on the different forms of contraceptives. However, the use of the various SRH services was challenging and reduced to counselling services. Adolescents were faced with various difficulties in their bid to access SRH services, including social stigma, attitude of service providers, fear of teachers and the anticipated negative response of parents due to the complex socio-cultural structure of Ghanaian society. Discussion with elders about SRH issues was considered a taboo.


Whilst social negotiation with parents, teachers and SRH service providers as well as school curricula alignment could arrest the barriers to adolescents’ access to SRH services, eHealth services such as the ‘Bisa’ Health App could potentially provide easy and cost-effective access to SRH information among in-school adolescents.


In-school adolescents ‘Bisa’ health app Contraceptives eHealth services Sexual and reproductive health Social stigma 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Godfred Amankwaa declares that he has no conflict of interest. Kabila Abass declares that he has no conflict of interest. Razak Mohammed Gyasi declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017
corrected publication January/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Rural DevelopmentKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  2. 2.School of Geography and the EnvironmentUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and Social PolicyLingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong SAR

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