An assessment of the factors limiting the use of modern sanitary materials among adolescent girls in Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro District
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The main objective of the study was to assess the knowledge and access of modern sanitary materials among adolescent girls in Nakivale Refugee settlement in Isingiro District. Other specific objective measured included: examining the knowledge of adolescent girls about modern sanitary materials and examining the challenges faced in the accessibility of modern sanitary materials by adolescent girls in Nakivale Refugee settlement. A cross section study design with qualitative methods was applied to the study. Purposive sampling technique was used in selection of the study participants. The data obtained was presented inform tables and discussion. The study results indicated that knowledge of adolescent girls about modern sanitary materials remains. Nakivale Refugee Settlement low. Girls in Nakivale Refugee Settlement lack knowledge on how to use sanitary materials to manage their menstruation periods. The only knowledge they get about menstruation hygiene is by their fellow peers and at school. Discussion on the topic is discouraged by local culture or religion and mothers often do not wish to talk about it for fear that it will lead to discussions about reproductive health. Besides, mothers often deliver information based on cultural beliefs and restrictions to be applied, rather than physiological or practical facts. It can also be concluded that the challenges faced in the accessibility of modern sanitary materials by adolescent girls in Nakivale Refugee settlement include: lack of knowledge where to access modern sanitary materials, limited availability of modern sanitary materials, lack of funds to buy the modern sanitary materials, cultural beliefs and norms and lack of support from parents to menstruating girls. The researcher therefore recommends; the government, schools, NGOs and civil society organizations need to work hand in hand to promote advocacy campaigns on the effects and coping mechanisms around menstrual hygiene management to policy making, supporting mechanisms in refugee camps for girls to maintain menstrual hygiene by properly using sanitary, and improving on sanitary pad use among adolescent girls.