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ATTITUDE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FEMALE STUDENTS TOWARD MENSTRUAL HYGIENE

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background to the Study

Menstruation is a phenomenon unique to all females. The onset of menstruation represents a landmark even in pubertal development of the adolescent girl. Menstruation a natural process in a woman’s life needs special care from physical and psychological point of view. Menstrual hygiene management is an issue that is insufficiently acknowledged and has not received adequate attention from any quarter of the society (Arkutu, 1995). Menstruation and the menstrual cycle are characterized by variability in volume, pattern and regularities, which at the earlier stages of the development of the adolescent can create emotional discomfort particularly to the poorly informed girl (Nair, 2011). The challenge of providing special facilities for girls reaching puberty is a question far removed from the authorities. The lack of policy in this regard is a major hurdle. Unfortunately, authorities have not yet realized the fact that lack of facilities in school can force girls to remain absent from schools and in the other hand, it would cause infectious diseases. Statistically, United Nation Children Fund UNICEF in collaboration with World Health Organization WHO (2005) had identified that 75 per cent of women population had gynecological problems or complications as a result of poor menstrual hygiene. This has resulted to infertility which also brought about broken homes. In Nigeria, major cultural difference exists which to a large extent influence several characteristics and attitude of people. Culturally, amongst the Ibos, discussion on sexuality including menstruation is often shrouded in secrecy, rarely is such discussion carried out even among adults themselves. Abioye (2000) reported that some girls have no access to clean and safe sanitary products and are subjected to restrictions in their daily activities or lives because they are menstruating. Besides, the health problems due to poor hygiene during menstruation are as a result of unaffordability of facilities and inappropriate supply of sanitary products which may push them temporarily or sometimes permanently out of school, having a negative impact on the right to education. Menstruation means the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the uterus accruing approximately monthly from puberty to menopause. According to Chung 2 (1981) the first menstruation is considered as a symbol of transition from girlhood to adulthood. Various aspects such as physiology, pathology and psychology of menstruation have been formed to associate it with health and well-being of women; hence it is an important issue concerning morbidity among female population (Arkutu, 1995). Menstruation is the periodic shedding of the endometrial (lining of the uterus) accompanied by blood loss that identifies the reproductive years of a woman’s life (Arkutu,1995) Menstruation is a natural phenomenon among matured females who experience shedding of blood for one to seven days every month from the age of maturity until menopause (Abera, 2003). Menstruation refers to as the monthly bleeding of each menstrual cycle of adolescent and adult women. Adiar (2008), stated that the first menstruation (Menarche) usually, occurs at puberty typically between the ages of 11 and 16, and periods continues until the menopause around the age of 45-50. However, menstruation does not occur during pregnancy and can be suppressed or disrupted in women who are breast feeding. Menstruation is part of the menstrual cycle which helps a woman’s body to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy each month. Snigh (2006) stated that the parts of the body involved in menstrual cycle include: the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tube, the brain and the pituitary gland. Some girls start their menstrual periods as early as 10 years of age and as late as 16 years old. The average age a girl begins menstruating is 12 years (Jones, 1999). Menstruation is one of the most important stages in a woman’s life. Although, it is a natural process, is linked with several misconceptions which sometimes results into adverse health conditions or outcomes (Abera, 2003). Negligence in menstrual hygiene has resulted in biological and gynecological problems across nations. The negative effects such as, vaginal tract infections, urinary tract infection as well as, infertility are far-ranging on the lives of girls and women, and on the wider development goal (Abera, 2003). Neglecting menstrual hygiene could also have a negative effect on environment, failing to provide disposal facilities for used sanitary products can result in a significant solid waste. Up till day, poor menstrual hygiene in developing countries has led to so many health problems. One of the main reasons behind the issue is that menstruation is considered in many societies a hidden and secret issue. Isolation of menstruating girls and 3 restrictions being imposed on them in the family has reinforced a negative attitude toward this phenomenon.

Statement of the Problem

Senior female secondary school students are young persons full of activities and are growing very fast. This constitutes a vulnerable group not only with respect to their social status but in relation to their health. This means that the group requires adequate hygiene for their growth and development. Maintenance of adequate and proper cleanliness especially during menstrual periods will be their priority using proper menstrual products such as sanitary pads, tampons, napkins among others. The girls suppose to change soiled absorbents, dispose them hygienically and wash hands properly and regularly as they are likely to contract infections if precautionary measures are not adhered to strictly.

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NAME:                       TITUS AYANI SOLA
BANK:                       FIRST BANK PLC
ACCT NO:                  3111741042
ACCOUNT TYPE:       SAVINGS
AMOUNT:                  N2000

NAME:                       TITUS AYANI SOLA


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Updated: 9th May 2019 — 5:16 pm

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