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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. A time for global action: addressing girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  2. An agenda for policy and action to support girls through puberty and menarche

    Puberty and menstruation are a fundamental part of the second decade of girls’ lives. Yet many girls in low and middle-income countries know very little about the physical and emotional changes that are part of growing up. …

  3. Cash transfers: magic bullet or fundamental ingredient?

    Comment on a study published in The Lancet Global Health by Audrey Pettifor and colleagues on cash transfers, school attendance and the reduction of HIV risk behaviours in adolescent girls.

  4. The effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence in young women in rural South Africa (HPTN 068): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial

    Cash transfers have been proposed as an intervention to reduce HIV-infection risk for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, scarce evidence is available about their effect on reducing HIV acquisition. The authors aimed to assess the effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence among young women in rural South Africa. Based on their research findings, the authors draw the conclusion that cash transfers conditional on school attendance did not reduce HIV incidence in young women. School attendance significantly reduced risk of HIV acquisition, irrespective of study group. …

  5. Effect of a cash transfer programme for schooling on prevalence of HIV and herpes simplex type 2 in Malawi: a cluster randomised trial

    Lack of education and an economic dependence on men are often suggested as important risk factors for HIV infection in women. The authors assessed the efficacy of a cash transfer programme for schooling to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections in young women. Based on their findings the authors conclude that cash transfer programmes can reduce HIV and HSV-2 infections in adolescent schoolgirls in low-income settings. Structural interventions that do not directly target sexual behaviour change can be important components of HIV prevention strategies.

  6. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  7. Impact of the provision of school lunch on attendance in remote rural Jamaican primary schools

    This study examined the attendance patterns by region of schools which participated in School Feeding Programmes (SFPs) in poor, remote rural areas of Jamaica and determined wether there was a significant difference in attendance over a 10 year period between children who took different lunch types. The study revealed peaks and troughs in the average annual attendance by region, but found no significant difference in attendance by lunch type. …

  8. Menstruation and the cycle of poverty: a cluster quasi-randomised control trial of sanitary pad and puberty education provision in Uganda

    Background: Poor menstrual knowledge and access to sanitary products have been proposed as barriers to menstrual health and school attendance. In response, interventions targeting these needs have seen increasing implementation in public and private sectors. However, there has been limited assessment of their effectiveness. …

  9. Menstruation and education in Nepal

    This paper presents the results from a randomized evaluation that distributed menstrual cups (menstrual sanitary products) to adolescent girls in rural Nepal. Girls in the study were randomly allocated a menstrual cup for use during their monthly period and were followed for fifteen months to measure the effects of having modern sanitary products on schooling. While girls were 3 percentage points less likely to attend school on days of their period, the researchers find no significant effect of being allocated a menstrual cup on school attendance. …

  10. School feeding and girls’ enrollment: the effects of alternative implementation modalities in low-income settings in sub-Saharan Africa

    BACKGROUND: School feeding interventions are implemented in nearly every country in the world, with the potential to support the education, health and nutrition of school children. In terms of impact on school participation, there is little evidence to show that different school feeding modalities have different effect sizes. OBJECTIVE: To examine the influence of different school feeding modalities on primary school enrollment, particularly for girls, in 32 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. …

  11. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  12. Costs, and cost-outcome of school feeding programmes and feeding programmes for young children

    Our objectives for this study were to provide updated, realistic data on the costs and cost-outcomes of school feeding in Low and Middle Income Countries. We also aimed to identify factors that may influence effectiveness and therefore, cost effectiveness of the interventions. To do this, we combined data on effect sizes for physical and psychosocial outcomes from two Cochrane systematic reviews with new data on the costs of school feeding. We simulated the costs of preschool feeding based on the school feeding costs. …

  13. A survey on re-entry of pregnant girls in primary and secondary schools in Uganda: survey briefing

    The main objective of the Survey on Re-Entry of Pregnant Girls in Primary and Secondary Schools in Uganda (2011) is to collect evidence and articulate policy options to address the re-integration of pregnant girls and child mothers in school in Uganda. …

  14. Adolescent pregnancy and education trajectories in Malawi

    Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal. This paper uses longitudinal data from five rounds of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study to investigate how becoming pregnant while attending school influences medium-term educational outcomes of young women. …

  15. Rising school enrollment and declining HIV and pregnancy risk among adolescents in Rakai district, Uganda, 1994–2013

    Background: Poverty, family stability, and social policies influence the ability of adolescents to attend school. Likewise, being enrolled in school may shape an adolescent’s risk for HIV and pregnancy. We identified trends in school enrollment, factors predicting school enrollment (antecedents), and health risks associated with staying in or leaving school (consequences). Methods: Data from the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS) were examined for adolescents 15–19 years (n = 21,735 person-rounds) from 1994 to 2013. …

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