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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Menstruation is a discharging of blood, secretions, and tissue debris from the uterus that recurs in non-pregnant breeding-age primate females at approximately monthly intervals and that is considered to represent a readjustment of the uterus to the non-pregnant state following proliferative changes accompanying the preceding ovulation.
Menstruation is a normal process of the body and if proper knowledge is given regarding its onset, management and problems associated with it; then it can be handled like all other body functions. However, many girls in developing countries lack appropriate knowledge and sufficient information regarding menstruation and its management (Olayinka 2004). While some information might be available from school and friends, parents should address the practical concerns that puberty brings, for instance, new hygiene needs(e.g., menstrual periods, body odors), clothing and product needs (e.g., cloth vs. napkin brands). In order for girls to live healthy reproductive and dignified life, it is essential that they are able to manage menstrual bleeding effectively (Ahmed & Yesmin 2008). Management of menstruation deals with the special health care needs and requirements like choice of absorbent used, how often and when to change the absorbent used, washing of hands and undergarments, bathing, care of vulva and proper disposal of menstrual wastes. Therefore, menstruation as a regular process needs hygienic management. If poorly managed, menstrual period may be accompanied with discomfort, reproductive tract infections, foul odour and embarrassment among others (Dasgupta & Sarkar (2008).
Menstruation wastes are the wastes that are generated by a female in her reproductive years. These wastes are produced during menstruation commonly known as menses, periods, or monthly bleeding cycle (Campbell 2007). The menstrual cycle has three phases, that is, follicular phase (proliferative), ovulation phase, and luteal phase (secretory). Menstruation is regulated by hormones; in this process, endometrium, lining of uterus, gradually thickens and sheds off and causes bleeding that normally last for 3–5 days and occasionally up to 7 days. Menstruation sheds two-thirds of the endometrial lining. In addition to blood, menstrual fluid contains mucus and vaginal secretions (Nwankwo, 2009). The menstrual flow varies from female to female and may be more or less at the beginning of menses or may change throughout the cycle. The color of the menstrual fluid varies between red, bright red, and dark brown to black. Menstrual fluid may or may not have unpleasant odour especially when it comes in contact with air. Menstrual flow or duration also changes before menopause or during gynaecological cancers. Under conditions of hormonal imbalance, fibroids, polyps, and endometriosis menstrual flow increase and excessive loss of blood through menstruation can lead to anaemia.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Menstrual flow is a natural occurrence in the female body. However the management of the menstrual waste is has become a major problem among female undergraduate students in University of Nigeria. Most of the female students do not know how to effectively dispose the materials used during menstruation; some do not know the hygiene management procedure to adopt during menstruation. It is to this regard that the study desire to examine menstrual waste management practice among female undergraduate students in University of Nigeria.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine menstrual waste management practice among female undergraduate students in University of Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are:
1. to determine the method used in menstrual waste disposal among undergraduate female students in University of Nigeria
2. to identify the problems associated with the handling of menstrual wastes in the boarding schools
3. to determine the relationship between menstrual waste management and the wellbeing of undergraduate female students in University of Nigeria
4. to proffer solution to the above stated problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:
· Does the government encourage positive attitude towards menstrual waste disposal?
· What are the attitude of females towards menstrual waste disposal strategies?
· Does menstrual waste disposal influence environmental sustainability?
· What can be done to achieve better menstrual waste disposal attitude?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Age has no significant influence on attitude towards menstrual waste disposal.
H1: Educational level has no significant influence on attitude towards menstrual waste disposal.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on menstrual waste management practice will be of immense benefit to the female undergraduate female students In University of Nigeria by educating the students on the menstrual waste management and the various methods used in menstrual waste management. The study will serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on menstrual waste management practice will focus on the final 100 level to 400 level students of University of Nigeria. The study will cover on menstrual waste management practice will be of immense benefit to the female undergraduate female students In University of Nigeria by educating the students on the menstrual waste management and the various methods used in menstrual waste management.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Menses: blood and other matter discharged from the uterus at menstruation.
Menstrual cycle: The menstrual cycle is the regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system that makes pregnancy possible.
Hygiene: conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.