Background: Unwanted pregnancy has many negative consequences on the health and wellbeing of women. Emergency contraception (EC) plays an important role in the prevention of unwanted pregnancy and contributes in the reduction of unnecessary maternal deaths due to complications of unsafe abortion.
Objective: The aim of the study was to assess knowledge and practice (KAP) of female students in Bahir Dar University.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted from May 6 to 11, 2008 among female students in Bahir Dar University. Data was collected using a pre-tested, structured questionnaire. A total of 400 female female students were enrolled in this study. The collected data was cleared manually and analyzed using Epi-Info version 3.4.3 software package. The result of the study was presented by tables and percentage.
Results: Among the total of 400 respondents 386 (96.5 %) have knowledge about family planning, 334 (83.5%) heard about EC. Awareness about EC was found relatively higher among natural than social students (OR 1.82, X2 3.54). The main source of information on EC and family planning was dominantly from family member and mass media. Out of 334 respondents, who were aware about EC, only 129 (73.4 %) used EC. Two hundred forty-nine (62.3%) of the respondents believe that their religion has influence to their attitude towards EC use.
Conclusion: Majority of the respondents heard about EC and family planning, however there is a great knowledge and attitude gap among respondent as they lacked detailed information and specific knowledge about EC. In order to increases knowledge about EC and to bring attitudinal change among female University students there should be continuous education on family planning and specific information about EC and establishment of family planning club is recommended.
Keywords: Emergency contraception; knowledge, attitude and practice; female university students; Bahir Dar University; Ethiopia.