Menstrual Hygiene Practices Among Adolescent Girls in Junior High Schools in Selected Communities of Ashanti Region, Ghana

  •  Alberta David Nsemo    
  •  Idang Neji Ojong    
  •  Ramatu Agambire    
  •  Regina Adu    
  •  Mercy Dankwah    


INTRODUCTION: Menstruation is a phenomenon unique to the females and menstrual hygiene is still a problem for adolescent girls especially in low and middle income countries particularly when attending school. This issue is insufficiently acknowledged and has not received adequate attention in the reproductive health sectors in developing countries including Ghana and its relationship with the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the knowledge and practices of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls, the cultural beliefs that influence menstrual hygiene practices, and the problems adolescent girls face in practicing menstrual hygiene.

METHODOLOGY: A quantitative research method using descriptive cross-sectional survey design was employed in the study. Using a multi-staged sampling technique, a sample size of 151 adolescents in Juniors High schools who had reached menarche was selected from four (4) schools located in Asamang, Sekyere south District of Ashanti region of Ghana. Data was collected through a researchers’ constructed and validated questionnaire titled “Adolescents knowledge and practice of menstrual hygiene questionnaire (AKPMHQ)”. Data was analysed using simple frequencies and percentages.

RESULTS: The study revealed that 68(45%) of the girls were in the Junior High School three (JHS3) and 88(58.5%) of them ranged between 14-15 years. Most of them (74.2%) had pre-menarche education given by their family members. Most of the parents 94(62.3%) had secondary education. Majority of the girls practiced good menstrual hygiene. Their culture does not exert much influence on their knowledge and practices of menstrual hygiene. However, there were some myths which are not scientifically based. Most of the girls experience some challenges during menstruation such as lower abdominal pain 77(51.0%) and unavailability of facility in school to change during menstruation 61(40.4%).

CONCLUSION: The adolescent girls are knowledgeable about menstrual hygiene and also have good menstrual hygiene practices. However, there exist few cultural practices in the community that may have negative effect on their knowledge and practice of menstrual hygiene in the midst of some physical and social challenges experienced by the adolescents during menstruation.

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