The perception and appropriate hygiene practices of girls towards menstruation is closely linked with their level of knowledge and beliefs. This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge on menstruation and hygienic practices among adolescent school girls in an urban city, Nigeria. The study was a cross sectional survey and a total 122 girls from 4 out of the 9 schools’ were recruited using a multistage sampling technique to select the schools, and systematic sampling method proportionate to size (proportion of total study unit accounted by each school) after a random selection of the first respondent, using the list of students as the sampling frame and sampling interval of 30. Overall, a total of 79 (65%) of the respondents had high knowledge. 15% of respondents’ indicated their major source of information on menstruation from their school teachers. There is a significant gap in knowledge and with minimal role played by the school environment to provide appropriate information during their formative years. The ages of the respondents (P = 0.93), education of their mothers (P = 0.173) and the sources of information regarding menstruation (P = 0.575) were found not to be statistically significant with respect to the knowledge of menstruation while there was a statistically significant relationship between religion (P = 0.0001) and level of study of the girls and knowledge of menstruation (P = 0.048) Concerning the practice of menstrual hygiene, the majority 106 (87%) of the girls used sanitary pads, only. There was a significant statistically association between education of their mothers (P = 0.015), religion (P = 0.0001) and occupation of respondents mother (P = 0.0028) with respect to the reported menstrual hygiene practices. Hence the need for targeted systematic information to adolescent through curriculum reviews towards better knowledge and practice of menstrual hygiene.
Key words: Menstruation, adolescence, secondary school, menstrual hygiene.
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