Knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene management among the Rohingya refugee adolescent girls in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: A mixed method study
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CitationRakhshanda, S., Ahmed, S., Saidu, S., Nderitu, C., Thapa, B., Awal, A., Farnaz, N., Rahman, A., Aktar, B. and Faruque, A.S.G. (2021), "Knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene management among the Rohingya refugee adolescent girls in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: a mixed method study", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 311-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-10-2020-0096
Purpose About half of the 16% adolescents in the world experience menstruation. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a health concern and challenge especially in humanitarian situations as experienced by Myanmar Rohingya refugees living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This study aims to assess knowledge, practice and influencing factors for MHM among Rohingya refugee adolescent girls of 14–18 years. Design/methodology/approach The study used both quantitative (a cross-sectional survey with 340 adolescent girls through a structured questionnaire) and qualitative (7 in-depth interviews with adolescent girls and 2 focus group discussions with the mothers) approaches. Quantitative data, analyzed using STATA version 13.0, were supported by qualitative data, grouped into themes and presented as matrix. Findings Around 51% adolescent girls learned about menstruation after menarche, at the mean age of 12 years, from their mothers and older sisters. About 75% used sanitary pads as absorbents which they got mostly as relief material or bought from local stores (83%); the rest used cloths and other materials (25%). About 57% of the respondents disposed of their absorbent by burying. Those who used reusable absorbents washed them with soap and water (40%) and mostly dried them indoors (17%). Factors influencing healthy MHM practice included the use of absorbent, privacy, disposal, washing and drying of clothes, physical activities, hygiene and pain management. Adolescents with secondary or higher education were four times more likely to have better MHM practice (odds ratio = 4.27; confidence interval = 1.19–15.31) than those with no formal schooling.