PRACTICES AND PERCEPTION REGARDING MENSTRUATION AMONGST RURAL ADOLESCENT GIRLS OF SAWANGI
Keywords:adolescent, menstruation, rural area
Background: onset of menstruation is one of the most important changes occurring among the girls during the adolescence. adolescence in girls has been recognized as a turbulent period which signifies the transition from girlhood to womanhood and considered as a landmark of female puberty.Menstruation is generally considered as unclean leading to isolation of the menstruating girls and restrictions imposed on them in the family. hence the aim of the study is to-
1) to evaluate the perceptions and source of information related to menstruation amongst school going rural adolescent girls.
2) to determine the status of menstrual hygiene amongst school going rural adolescent and to propose any improvement.
Methods: A cross sectional study Carried out, 600 adolescent girls in the age group of 10- 19 years in one of the government run school in Wardha district were selected after institutional ethical committee permission and from school administration. The study period was of 6months. Girls were given a pretested questionnaire in local language. This was followed by a session educating the girls about the normal physiology of menstruation, the importance of maintaining hygienic practices during menstruation and basis of traditions involved.
Results: in our study of 600 adolescent girls 32.6% of girls got information about menstruation from their mother and 28% got
information from friends. 31% girls thought that it was a natural curse from god that everyone gets while 44% had no idea about why it happens, while only 25% knew it is a natural process. 33.3% girls believed or were told that they should not go to any religious place while 12.3% girls did not prefer going to school.62.7% girls faced different types of problems during menstruation out of which 51.06% girls had complain of abdominal pain followed by pain in whole body 30.3%.55.6% used sanitary latrines at home while still 44.3% did not use. Since our being a rural area water problem is badly faced 51% girls used stored water at their homes. The most surprising problem seen was usage of cloth during menstruation as an absorbent 37% girls used old clothes and only 26% girls used sanitary napkins and 59.45% girls used the same cloth at least 3 times. Out of 37% girls who used the old cloth would prefer drying the cloth in dark, hidden areas i.e55.85%. 71% girls washed their external genital organs with soap and water while others only washed with water.37.3% girls maintained privacy with all others but only shared with their mothers .25.6% girls would wrap it in the paper and dispose it in dustbin with daily waste of the house,24.7% girls disposed the waste in nearby draining channel, 24% girls preferred burning it or were told by their mothers to do it.224 girls did not prefer going to school 33.03% girls gave the reason of no water facility and no proper area of disposal of the absorbent 27.6% girls faced discomfort and had fear of leakage. Out of 600,444 girls who did not use sanitary napkins 54.4% girls said that disposal was the problem and 30.18% girls said the cost was the main hindrance for not using sanitary napkins.
Conclusions: Efforts to achieve millennium developmental goal should be vigorous especially for safe water and waste management.
Health care personnel too, recognise their responsibility to provide knowledge to help girls, confidentially deal with their menstrual health issue and to safeguard against infections
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