Knowledge and Education Need on Puberty and Menstrual Health Among Adolescents’ Boys and Girls from Selected Secondary Schools From Kibaha Town Council
Background: Puberty education is essential during the early adolescents' stage to help both boys and girls manage their physical, emotional, and interpersonal changes during the transition to adulthood. Girls need guidance before first menstruation that will help them reduce fears, embarrassment, shame and manage well their menses while in and of school. We conducted this study to assess the current knowledge and educational needs on puberty and menstrual health among adolescent boys and girls from selected schools before establishing "Pamoja school health clubs.
Methods: A baseline cross-sectional study was conducted in March 2020 that involved both adolescent boys and girls. Data collection methods involved quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, including the survey questionnaire and focus group discussion (FGD) guide.
Results: A total of 461 students participated in the survey and 130 in the focus group discussion, and among them, adolescent girls were 70.3%(n=324) and 55.4% (n=72), respectively. During the survey, about 34% of participants acknowledged having adequate information about puberty and 31% on menstruation; however, most participants (93.5%) indicated the need for more information on puberty. About 84.2% of surveyed girls had started menstruation, but only 52% reported having adequate information on menstruation before menarche. Before menarche, their primary source of information was schoolteachers (39.1%), and after menarche was the mothers (51%). However, the preferred primary source of information indicated was the school club (39.5%), health worker (22.8%), and schoolteachers (10.9%).
Conclusion: During FGD, adolescents girls indicated the need for more information as compared to adolescent boys, particularly on issues related to menstrual hygiene, use of menstrual materials, and how to manage menstrual pains. Both adolescent boys and girls need timely, adequate, and appropriate information during puberty. However, in most cases, they do not get the correct information they need
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