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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 252-255
Peer educators as change leaders – Effectiveness of peer education process in creating awareness on reproductive health among women workers in textile industry

1 Department of Community Medicine, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Palakkad, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Suvetha Kannappan
Department of Community Medicine, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Avinashi Road, Peelamedu, Coimbatore - 641 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_6_19

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Context: India is one of the leading manufacturers of garments with roughly 80% of the workforce dominated by female migrant workers. Lack of education and access to resources in these women contribute to unsafe sexual behaviors, sometimes leading to unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Awareness raising, and peer education in particular, is extremely effective in addressing reproductive health issues. Aims: This study aims to study the effectiveness of peer health education in improving the awareness on reproductive health among women workers in textile industries. Settings and Design: A health educational interventional study for women in garment and spinning mills using peer education process carried out over a period of 18 months. Subjects and Methods: The process includes orientation to factory management, health needs' assessment, identifying health topics, peer educators' selection, peer educator trainings followed by outreach sessions, and impact measurement. The impact of peer education on reproductive health has been assessed among 597 participants from 9 factories. Statistical Analysis Used: Data were entered in SPSS version 24 and analyzed. Results were expressed as percentages. Chi square test was used where appropriate to find association between categorical variables. Results: The mean age of the workers in both the groups is 25.4 (±9.6) years and 25.1 (±8.3) years. In both the groups, most of the workers were single and more than half of them reside within the factory premises. Significant change in menstrual hygiene practices, knowledge in family planning methods, STIs, and cervical cancer has been observed following peer health education. Conclusions: A well-designed health educational interventional program using peer educators could be a successful approach to create awareness on sensitive topics.

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