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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Guidance on menstrual health and hygiene

    This guidance is structured into five sections. Section 1: A global opportunity This section explains the global interest in supporting MHH through development and humanitarian programming under the SDGs. Section 2: Programme design This section articulates the principles underpinning UNICEF’s MHH programmes and explains the process to support government leadership, carry out a situation analysis, develop a theory of change, build an evidence base, estimate programme costs, and assemble a team. …

  2. Guide to menstrual hygiene materials

    This document provides guidance for staff from UNICEF Supply Division and Programme Division (WASH, Education, and Protection sections) on the selection and procurement of appropriate materials and supplies for menstrual hygiene management, particularly during humanitarian response. The guide is meant to familiarise UNICEF staff members with the key characteristics and requirements for the most common menstrual hygiene materials: menstrual cloths, reusable pads, disposable pads, menstrual cups and tampons. …

  3. Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study

    Poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among schoolgirls in low income countries affects girls' dignity, self-esteem, and schooling. Hygienic, effective, and sustainable menstrual products are required. A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14-16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls' perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction. …

  4. Menstrual hygiene management guideline

    This Guide supports organizations working on MHM to encourage all girls and women to adopt safer menstrual hygiene practices. It also demonstrates how to work with communities and implement concrete actions for effective menstrual management. The target audience for MHM encompasses behavior change communication audiences referred to as primary participant groups –all women and girls - secondary audiences such as relevant technical officials at all levels, and advocacy or tertiary audiences – political leaders.

  5. Menstrual hygiene management: operational guidelines

    Adolescence and puberty is a time of intense physical and emotional change for young people between the ages of 10 and 17. Puberty marks a transition between childhood and adulthood that impacts adolescents’ physical, emotional, and social well-being. Evidence shows that during puberty, adolescents embrace and solidify the gender norms of their society. So the way girls and boys see themselves within their family, community and society can be drastically altered for the rest of their lives. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey

    Background: Many adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries lack appropriate facilities and support in school to manage menstruation. Little research has been conducted on how menstruation affects school absence. This study examines the association of menstrual hygiene management knowledge, facilities and practice with absence from school during menstruation among Bangladeshi schoolgirls. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study in Bangladeshi schools from March to June 2013 among girls 11 to 17 years old who reached menarche. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Girls in control: Compiled findings from studies on menstrual hygiene management of school girls. Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe

    SNV launched the five-country Girls in Control menstrual hygiene pilot programme in January 2014, building on insights and experience gained from implementing school-based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in 14 countries. This report presents the findings of baseline studies on the menstrual hygiene management of schoolgirls, conducted in the five project countries: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  10. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education: Proceedings of the 5th Annual Virtual Conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools

    Capturing girls’ voices: Channelling girls’ recommendations into global and national level action. Globally, there are around 600 million adolescent girls. Adolescence is a pivotal transitional period that requires special attention to ensure progress for all girls, especially the most vulnerable, and poses a unique opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to transform gender roles. The onset of puberty and menstruation can pose an additional barrier to a girl’s personal freedom, and can signal entry into a different role in their family and wider society. …

  11. Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries

    This paper maps the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices surrounding menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries in order to inform the future design of relevant policies and programming. The study of over 80 journal articles from a number of low and middle income countries confirmed that: (1) Many adolescent girls start their periods uninformed and unprepared. (2) Mothers are the primary source of information, but they inform girls too-little and too-late and often communicate their own misconceptions. …

  12. 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. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Menstrual hygiene management. National guidelines

    The Menstrual Hygiene Management Guideline is issued by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to support all adolescent girls and women. It outlines what needs to be done by state governments, district administrations, engineers and technical experts in line departments; and school head teachers and teachers. This guideline is organised as follows: Part 1: About the guideline; Part 2: Who needs to know what, why and how; Part 3: Providing adolescent girls with menstrual hygiene management choices; Part 4: MHM infrastructure in schools and the safe disposal of menstrual waste.

  15. Menstrual hygiene in schools in two countries of francophone West Africa: Burkina Faso and Niger. Case studies in 2013

    Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has been under-researched by the WASH, health and education sectors. Menstruation is a sensitive subject and remains a taboo in many societies. Some cultural beliefs about menstruation reinforce gender inequities and have negative impact on the dignity, health and education of women and girls. There is a need to gather more information on MHM to improve WASH in schools programming and create more equal, safe and healthy school environments. …

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