|dc.identifier.citation||Lahme, A. M., Stern, R., & Cooper, D. (2018). Factors impacting on menstrual hygiene and their implications for health promotion. Global Health Promotion, 25(1), 54–62. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757975916648301||en_US
|dc.description.abstract||Background: In the lives of women, puberty is marked by the onset of menarche. From this stage onwards until menopause, reproductive health and menstrual hygiene are important aspects of
women’s lives. In Zambia’s Western Province, the natural process of menstruation is a taboo and dealt
with secretly. Information and knowledge about menstruation and menstrual hygiene among adolescent
girls is inadequate. This paper explores the factors influencing the understanding, experiences and
practices of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in Mongu District, Western Province of Zambia.
Methods: An explorative study design was used by means of six focus group discussions conducted
with 51 respondents, aged 13–20 years, from three secondary schools. Their age at menarche was
11–15. For data analysis thematic content analysis was used.
Results: The paper shows that the girls suffer from poor menstrual hygiene, originating from lack of
knowledge, culture and tradition, and socio-economic and environmental constraints, leading to
inconveniences, humiliation and stress. This leads to reduced school attendance and poor academic
performance, or even drop outs, and ultimately infringes upon the girls’ human rights.
Conclusion: To address these shortcomings, a ‘super setting approach’ is recommended, in which a
Health Promoting School could improve the girls’ individual and group needs, and a community
setting which would address the broader socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions. This
would enable creating a supportive environment for the girls to manage their periods. To successfully
utilize the approach, all stakeholders (parents, teachers, children, governments and communities)
should cooperate to generate context-specific solutions for creating safe menstrual care, and better and
dignified conditions for adolescent girls. Therefore, this calls for comprehensive, strident advocacy for
policy changes at national level, and mediation and involvement at community level. (Global Health
Promotion, 2018; 25(1): 54–62)||en_US