Menstruation: Poor Guidance Contributes to Teenage Mismanagement, Report Shows

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Yinka Kolawole

Lack of adequate guidance has been identified as the major cause of mismanagement of menstrual periods by beginners. ‎

This is the report of findings of the National Research on Menstrual Hygiene Management, conducted in three geo-political zones of the country; Katsina State- North-west, Anambra State- South-east and Osun State- South-west.‎

At a media engagement on menstrual hygiene management in basic schools in Nigeria held in Osun State, Dr. Femi Aluko who is part of the research team disclosed that lack of adequate guidance, facilities and materials for girls lead to mismanagement of their menstruation in school.‎

According to Aluko, “girls capacity to manage their periods is affected by lack of access to affordable hygiene sanitary materials, disposal options for used materials, adequate water supply, clean toilets, washing facilities and access to changing rooms.

“According to United Nations Children Emergency Fund UNICEF in 2011, most of the toilets/ latrines observed were dirty with broken doors and poor ventilation. The ratio of latrine compartment to students was 1:297 for girls and 1:1216 for boys compared with global recommended latrine to student ratio of 1:25 and 1:50 for girls and boys respectively.

“The overall average ratio of toilets/latrine in the urban schools for girls was 1:214 and for boys 1:374 while the ratio was 1:168 and 1:272 for girls and boys respectively in rural schools,” he added.

The researcher said studies showed that none of the schools assessed met up with World Health Organisation’s standard of pupil to toilet ratio.

He lamented over what he described as “culture silence and shameful act’ regarding issues of sexuality and menstruation, which according to him attributed to cultural restrictions and as well preventing sufficient information from reaching girls and women.

Speaking at the occasion, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Hon. Adesegun Olanibib, while delivering his welcoming address said that, “The human body is made of various parts and the reproductive parts are of importance in recreation. However discussing male and female reproductive system is a sensitive issue that must be approached with care.”
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However he said the governor has said that the restoration of functional education in the state was in line with the six points integral action point of his administration. This has been demonstrated by through construction of multi million naira state-of-the-art school infra-structure projects in all the nooks and crannies of the state.