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Menstrual hygiene management and school absenteeism among female adolescent students in Northeast Ethiopia.

Tegegne TK, Sisay MM - BMC Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: Those who did not use sanitary napkins were more likely to be absent from school [AOR-95% C.I: 5.37 (3.02 - 9.55)].In addition, the qualitative study indicated that school-dropout was common among girls who experienced teasing and humiliation by classmates when their clothes were stained with blood as they do not use sanitary napkins.Though there is an effort to increase girls' school enrollment, lack of basic needs, like sanitary napkins that facilitate routine activates of girls at early adolescence are observed to deter girls' school-attendance in rural Ethiopia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. mitikemolla@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Adolescence in girls has been recognized as a special period marked with the onset of menarche. Even though menstruation is a natural process, it is associated with misconceptions, malpractices and challenges among girls in developing countries. However, much is not documented; school-absenteeism and dropout are a common problem among girls in rural Ethiopia. Focusing among school girls, this study has examined knowledge about menstruation, determinants of menstrual management and its influence on school-attendance in Northeast Ethiopia.

Methods: We conducted a mixed-method research combining quantitative and qualitative methods in Northeast Ethiopia. The quantitative study was conducted among 595 randomly selected adolescent school girls. Nine in-depth interviews; five school-dropout girls and four female teachers, and four focus group discussions among school girls were conducted in 2013.

Results: The mean age at menarche was 13.98 (±1.17) years. About 51% of girls had knowledge about menstruation and its management. Only a third of the girls used sanitary napkins as menstrual absorbent during their last menstruation. Girls from urban areas, had mothers of secondary and above education and, families of higher monthly expenditure had more chance of using sanitary napkins than their counterparts. More than half of the girls reported to have been absent from school during their menstruation period. Those who did not use sanitary napkins were more likely to be absent from school [AOR-95% C.I: 5.37 (3.02 - 9.55)]. Fifty eight percent of girls reported that their school-performance had declined after they had menarche. In addition, the qualitative study indicated that school-dropout was common among girls who experienced teasing and humiliation by classmates when their clothes were stained with blood as they do not use sanitary napkins.

Conclusion: Though there is an effort to increase girls' school enrollment, lack of basic needs, like sanitary napkins that facilitate routine activates of girls at early adolescence are observed to deter girls' school-attendance in rural Ethiopia. Special support for girl students, especially when they have their first menstruation and separate functioning sanitary facilities are necessities that should be in school at all times if gender equality and girls empowerment is to be achieved.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Showing adolescent school girls reactions to menarche, Northeast Ethiopia, 2013 (n = 455).NB: Multiple responses were possible and the percent is greater than 100%.
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Fig2: Showing adolescent school girls reactions to menarche, Northeast Ethiopia, 2013 (n = 455).NB: Multiple responses were possible and the percent is greater than 100%.

Mentions: Most female students, 455 (79.27%) had their menarche where the mean age at menarche was 13.98 (±1.17) years. During the onset of menarche girls reported different feelings such as: embarrassment among 195 (42.86%) of the girls, 144 (31.65%) were upset and tensioned and 77 (16.92%) were irritated or disgusted (Figure 2). The qualitative study supports the findings from the survey as presented below.Figure 2


Menstrual hygiene management and school absenteeism among female adolescent students in Northeast Ethiopia.

Tegegne TK, Sisay MM - BMC Public Health (2014)

Showing adolescent school girls reactions to menarche, Northeast Ethiopia, 2013 (n = 455).NB: Multiple responses were possible and the percent is greater than 100%.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232635&req=5

Fig2: Showing adolescent school girls reactions to menarche, Northeast Ethiopia, 2013 (n = 455).NB: Multiple responses were possible and the percent is greater than 100%.
Mentions: Most female students, 455 (79.27%) had their menarche where the mean age at menarche was 13.98 (±1.17) years. During the onset of menarche girls reported different feelings such as: embarrassment among 195 (42.86%) of the girls, 144 (31.65%) were upset and tensioned and 77 (16.92%) were irritated or disgusted (Figure 2). The qualitative study supports the findings from the survey as presented below.Figure 2

Bottom Line: Those who did not use sanitary napkins were more likely to be absent from school [AOR-95% C.I: 5.37 (3.02 - 9.55)].In addition, the qualitative study indicated that school-dropout was common among girls who experienced teasing and humiliation by classmates when their clothes were stained with blood as they do not use sanitary napkins.Though there is an effort to increase girls' school enrollment, lack of basic needs, like sanitary napkins that facilitate routine activates of girls at early adolescence are observed to deter girls' school-attendance in rural Ethiopia.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. mitikemolla@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Adolescence in girls has been recognized as a special period marked with the onset of menarche. Even though menstruation is a natural process, it is associated with misconceptions, malpractices and challenges among girls in developing countries. However, much is not documented; school-absenteeism and dropout are a common problem among girls in rural Ethiopia. Focusing among school girls, this study has examined knowledge about menstruation, determinants of menstrual management and its influence on school-attendance in Northeast Ethiopia.

Methods: We conducted a mixed-method research combining quantitative and qualitative methods in Northeast Ethiopia. The quantitative study was conducted among 595 randomly selected adolescent school girls. Nine in-depth interviews; five school-dropout girls and four female teachers, and four focus group discussions among school girls were conducted in 2013.

Results: The mean age at menarche was 13.98 (±1.17) years. About 51% of girls had knowledge about menstruation and its management. Only a third of the girls used sanitary napkins as menstrual absorbent during their last menstruation. Girls from urban areas, had mothers of secondary and above education and, families of higher monthly expenditure had more chance of using sanitary napkins than their counterparts. More than half of the girls reported to have been absent from school during their menstruation period. Those who did not use sanitary napkins were more likely to be absent from school [AOR-95% C.I: 5.37 (3.02 - 9.55)]. Fifty eight percent of girls reported that their school-performance had declined after they had menarche. In addition, the qualitative study indicated that school-dropout was common among girls who experienced teasing and humiliation by classmates when their clothes were stained with blood as they do not use sanitary napkins.

Conclusion: Though there is an effort to increase girls' school enrollment, lack of basic needs, like sanitary napkins that facilitate routine activates of girls at early adolescence are observed to deter girls' school-attendance in rural Ethiopia. Special support for girl students, especially when they have their first menstruation and separate functioning sanitary facilities are necessities that should be in school at all times if gender equality and girls empowerment is to be achieved.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus