Knowledge, Belief and Practice of Menstrual Hygiene Management among in-School Adolescents in Katsina State, Nigeria
Keywords:In-school adolescents, Menstrual hygiene management (MHM), Water sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH), Nigeria
Background: In Nigeria menstruation tends to be an unmentionable topic of discuss, bounded by silence in the name of culture and blanketed in myths and misconceptions; yet, menstruation and menstrual hygiene are emerging as critical issues for gender equality and inclusion, human rights and development. In Nigeria, few studies on MHM had existed, and it is still inadequate thus this research to assess the Knowledge, beliefs and practice of MHM among in-school adolescents in Katsina state, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among in-school adolescents menstruating girls between the ages of 10-19 years. Analysis of the variables was done using univariate and bivariate analysis at 95% confidence level. Self-administered questionnaire on menstruation and menstrual hygiene practice was used to elicit responses from volunteered.
Results: Among the 395 respondents, 50.4% of the menstruating girls were at the modal age of 12-15. More than 59.7% do not know: the cause of menses, channel through which menses flows, intervals between menses while 157 (39.7%) of the respondents have basic knowledge on menses thus the association of knowledge and practice was found at P=0.026. Consequently 68.6% agree that there exist some cultural/religious beliefs and myths regarding menses in their various localities and as much as 77.4% agree that there are restrictions and this calls for concern.
Conclusion: This study has been able to establish that there is a relationship or association between respondents’ level of knowledge, belief, and enabling factors with the level of menstrual hygiene practice. It as well identified those enabling factors which when adequately provided will reduce the difficulties adolescent girls face while managing their monthly period. It has also brought out the urgent need for intensified sensitization of traditional/religious leaders and advocacy to government for inclusion of issues around menstruation management in media programs and addressing the various societal myths, misconceptions and false beliefs which negatively affects menstrual hygiene management.