School absenteeism during menstruation among adolescent girls in resettlement colonies of Delhi: a community-based cross-sectional study
Background: School absenteeism during menstruation and its related effects are preventable through identification of factors associated with it and implementation of region specific appropriate public health measures. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of school absenteeism during menstruation and its associated factors among adolescent girls residing in the resettlement colonies of Delhi. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in the urban resettlement colonies of Delhi during 2019 in which 712 school going adolescent girls were interviewed. The details about school absenteeism, its perceived reasons, various socio-demographic details, menstrual hygiene practices were assessed using pretested semi structured questionnaire. The data were entered in MS Excel and analysed using STATA statistical software version 14. Results: The prevalence of school absenteeism during menstruation among adolescent girls of resettlement colony was 43.1%(95% CI:39.5 – 46.7). Out of 307 girls who had school absenteeism, 285(92.8%) had missed for 1-3days. The most common self-reported reasons for school absenteeism during menstruation were pain during menstruation (75.6%) followed by staining of cloths(43.6%) and uncomfortable feeling(39.4%). Studying in government school (PR=1.4, 95% CI:1.1-2.0), suffering from menstruation-related problems(aPR=1.9, 95% CI:1.5-2.4) and pads being provided from schools(PR=1.3, 95% CI:1.1-1.7) were significantly associated with school absenteeism. Conclusions: Almost half of the adolescent girls in resettlement colonies had school absenteeism. The characteristics like government school, pads being provided from school, menstruation related problems like weakness, irritation, perceived weight gain and breast pain was significantly associated with school absenteeism. The factors associated with school absenteeism needs to be addressed with appropriate public health interventions.
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