Virtual but essential: Students’ use of online resources for sexual and reproductive health information during COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana

  • Sylvia Esther Gyan University of Ghana
  • Rosemond Akpene Hiadzi University of Ghana
  • Mark Kwaku Mensah Obeng University of Ghana
  • Rabiu Kwaku Boakye Asante University of Ghana
  • Yvette Akuokor Afowa Ussher University of Ghana
Keywords: Sexual and reproductive health, internet sources, COVID-19, young adults


Despite the disruptions in various sectors of society because of the COVID-19 mitigating measures, the existence of technological innovations provided alternative means to addressing most of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. The novelty of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase or introduction of and adoption of novel ways of accessing healthcare information and services. Although there are evidence of the youth seeking for sexual and reproductive health information from the internet, there is limited literature on whether the COVID-19 protocols influenced the use of internet information by the young adults in low-and -middle income countries. Using a convenience sample of 367 respondents from six public universities in Ghana, we investigated students use of the internet for information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet sources used by students before and during the pandemic was mainly search engines. Apart from the use of search engines, all the other internet sources saw a decrease in the percentage of students who relied on the internet for information on SRH during the pandemic. This calls for further investigations into why the proportion of students who use social media for SRH information declined during the pandemic.