Knowledge, attitudes & challenges concerning menstrual hygiene management among highschool adolescent females in Kabong Town Council, Kabong District.
Lukure, Claudia Lomoe
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Background: Lack of menstrual knowledge, poor attitudes towards menstrual hygiene management, and the challenges faced by adolescent girls in school can make it difficult for girls to attend and remain in school. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) challenges during changing and disposal of menstrual items are important in low-income countries (LICs) where schools lack sufficient water and sanitation. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes, and challenges concerning menstrual hygiene management among high school adolescent females in Kaabong town council, Kaabong district to generate data to inform policy and direct interventions geared towards better management of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in schools. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection was used among high school adolescent females in Kaabong Town Council. A total of 120 high school adolescent females were included and data were collected by a self-administered approach of apaper semi-structured questionnaire where data was entered into EPI DATA. A total of 8 key informants also participated in the study. Quantitative data was analyzed univalent using Stata 13 software and presented into figures and tables while qualitative data were transcribed verbatim, coded, and analyzed thematically. Results: More than half 66 (55.0%) of the adolescent girls were aged 18-19 years followed by 47 (39.2%) 16-17 years. It was found that the majority of the adolescent girls were knowledgeable on issues of menstrual hygiene management. Overall, 78 (65.0%) of the adolescent girls had good attitudes towards menstrual hygiene management with scores of 4 and above (≥4) while the rest 42 (35.0%) had poor attitudes with scores below 4 (4>). Less than half 50 (45.0%) of the respondents reported that their menstrual hygiene facilities at the school lacked water followed by 55 (45.8%) bins for disposal of sanitary pads. On the other hand, about half 63 (51.7%) reported that the school offers privacy for changing menstrual materials. Conclusion: Many girls and women are subject to restrictions in their daily lives simply because they are menstruating. Improvements to unmeasured aspects of menstrual hygiene management such as improving teachers’ awareness of girls’ needs or improved social support by prompting girls to discuss menstruation may contribute to their access to MHM requirements.