The effects of menstrual health on academic performance among lower secondary school girls: a case study of Kampala district.
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Appropriate Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is impeded by taboos and secrecy surrounding menstruation. Unhygienic use of sanitary pads practices and unpreparedness for managing menstruation has been associated with adverse health and social outcomes among adolescent girls. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of menstrual health on academic performance among secondary school girls in Kampala in order to generate information that can be useful in developing targeted interventions to encourage and improve the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in the country. This was a descriptive study with both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. A semi-structured questionnaire was used on 30 girls and a key informant interview guide among 10 senior teachers and 10 parents. Quantitative data was entered in Epidata 3.0, analyzed using STATA and presented into tables, figures and notes. Thematic analysis of qualitative data was done manually and results presented in texts. Girls were using menstrual pads during their menstruation though majority of them were using disposable pads. It was found out that they were using of reusable pads too. More than half 18/30 (60.0%) and 16/30 (53.3%) of the sampled school girls agreed that fear of staining their clothes and painful periods with cramps, headaches, backaches, diarrhea respectively. Senior women teachers conducted guidance and counseling on menstruation and sexual reproductive health, provide assistance to girls in times of need, teach menstrual hygiene to girls and supervise the condition of the facilities where girls can change their menstrual materials.