Author(s): Dongre AR, Deshmukh PR, Garg BS
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of a community-based health education intervention on awareness and behaviour change of rural adolescent girls regarding their management of menstrual hygiene. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A participatory-action study was undertaken in Primary Health Centres in 23 villages in Anji, in the Wardha district of Maharashtra state. Study subjects were unmarried rural adolescent girls (12-19 years). We conducted a needs assessment for health messages with this target audience, using a triangulated research design of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (focus group discussions) methods. Program for Appropriate Technology for Health (PATH) guidelines were used to develop a pre-tested, handmade flip book containing needs-based key messages about the management of menstrual hygiene. The messages were delivered at monthly meetings of village-based groups of adolescent girls, called Kishori Panchayat. After 3 years, the effect of the messages was assessed using a combination of quantitative (survey) and qualitative (trend analysis) methods. RESULTS: After 3 years, significantly more adolescent girls (55\%) were aware of menstruation before its initiation compared with baseline (35\%). The practice of using ready-made pads increased significantly from 5\% to 25\% and reuse of cloth declined from 85\% to 57\%. The trend analysis showed that adolescent girls perceived a positive change in their behaviour and level of awareness. CONCLUSION: The present community health education intervention strategy could bring significant changes in the awareness and behaviour of rural adolescent girls regarding management of their menstrual hygiene.
This article was published in World Health Popul
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health