Articles

Enhancing the Menstrual Experience of Menstruating Adolescents in Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe: A Qualitative Study

Authors:

Abstract

This study identified the needs of at-risk menstruating adolescents in rural Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe, regarding menstrual health in order to contribute to enhancing the menstrual experience of at-risk menstruating adolescents. The study used an exploratory qualitative research design. The main data collection method consisted of semi-structured interviews with 11 experts and key informants in menstrual health in Zimbabwe and other low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, five at-risk menstruating adolescents from rural Mashonaland Central were interviewed using a qualitative questionnaire. Through these interviews, the four themes of knowledge, economic environment, physical environment, and confidence, derived from the integrated model of menstrual experience by Hennegan et al. (2019), were analysed to identify the needs of menstruating adolescents regarding menstrual health. The study showed the importance of including the entire ecosystem around the menstruating adolescent. This should be taken into account in any menstrual health intervention aiming to provide education and support. Menstruating adolescents need to have access to a choice-oriented approach in the provision of menstrual products and have access to basic water, sanitation, and hygiene facility standards such as clean water and privacy in gender-segregated lavatories. The study recommends conducting further research in the local contexts of Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe, and other rural areas, and designing interventions using a bottom-up approach, integrating the target population and community in all steps of designing a menstrual health intervention, taking into account the local environment, cultural beliefs, and context.

Keywords:

Menstrual HealthMHMEcosystemBottom-up ApproachWASHMenstrual Experience
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 2
  • DOI: 10.5334/glo.33
  • Published on 27 Jul 2021
  • Peer Reviewed