Knowledge, attitudes and practices towards menstrual hygiene management among adolescent girls in secondary schools in Pingire Sub-County, Serere District
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There has been an increase in awareness on menstruation and its management over the years but poor menstrual hygiene practices remain prevalent. Many adolescent girls in middle and low income countries still face so many challenges in managing their menses for different reasons like; poor pre-menarcheal preparation, poor knowledge, poor attitude, lack of MHM facilities and so on. These have negatively impact on the girl child for example school absenteeism, reduced class performance, fear of shame and anxiety during menstruation. Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess knowledge, attitudes and practices on Menstrual Hygiene Management among adolescent girls in secondary schools in Pingire Sub-county, Serere District. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 306 adolescent girls in secondary schools in Pingire Sub County using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. One focus group discussion was conducted to collect qualitative data while a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data. The number of participants per school was calculated using the probability proportionate to size approach and the same method was used to calculate the number of participants per class. Quantitative data was cleaned and analyzed using Epi-data and STATA respectively. Results: Forty five percent of the girls had fair knowledge on MHM whereas 43.8% (134/306) had good knowledge. A majority (77.1%; 236/306) of the girls had heard of menstruation before menarche and the major source of this information was mothers. Most (61.1%; 187/306) of the girls had good menstruation hygiene practices and sixty six percent had a positive attitude towards menstruation and MHM. Only one school had adequate number of latrines which provide adequate privacy. However, the source of water was far from the MHM facilities. Conclusion: A variety of factors have been known to affect MHM and in this study knowledge and attitude are significant factors. It is therefore important that knowledge is raised on this subject and any misconceptions are eliminated in order to better the practices surrounding menstrual hygiene.