Menstrual Hygiene Management Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria’s Epicentre: The Reality of Girls and Women in a Low-Income Community
International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health,
Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is typically a constant reality for post menarche and premenopausal females globally. However, unlike other natural routine physiological experiences, a healthy monthly MHM comes with considerable financial implications. Hence, this study examines the financial ability of girls and women in a Nigerian low-income community to access materials needed for MHM monthly. The possible implication of the COVID-19 pandemic was also considered. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 130 respondents selected via systematic-random sampling. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. The respondents’ age ranged between 14 to 40 years, while 82.3% worked informal jobs. Half of the respondents reported they were unable to purchase sanitary pads and other items required for monthly MHM. Over 65% of the respondents revealed they suffered anxiety thinking about the financial burden associated with monthly MHM, while about one-third of the respondents were more financially capable before the pandemic. Common alternatives to sanitary pads used were tissue paper, cloth napkins, old sanitary towels, and newspapers. Moreover, 64% of the respondents reported had at least a form of vaginal/urinary tract infection in the past 3 months. The results clearly show that period poverty remains a barrier to achieving gender equality. The fact that 1 out of every 2 females in the study area reportedly suffered period poverty shows the dire need for socio-economic interventions. Local and State Governments must consider subsidizing products required for MHM to improve and maintain the health of girls and women in low-income communities.
- Menstrual hygiene management
- period poverty
- financial stress
How to Cite
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