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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Menstrual health and school absenteeism among adolescent girls in Uganda (MENISCUS): A feasibility study

    Management of menstruation can present substantial challenges to girls in low-income settings. In preparation for a menstrual hygiene intervention to reduce school absenteeism in Uganda, this study aimed to investigate menstruation management practices, barriers and facilitators, and the influence of menstruation on school absenteeism among secondary school students in a peri-urban district of Uganda. …

  2. New directions for assessing menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools: A bottom-up approach to measuring program success

    This dispatch aims to share lessons learned from the process of developing instruments to measure school participation, stress, and self-efficacy – outcomes that qualitatively link to girls’ experiences managing menstruation in school.

  3. The precocious period: the impact of early menarche on schooling in India

    Improvements in childhood nutrition increase schooling and economic returns in later life in a virtuous cycle. However, better nutrition also leads to an earlier onset of menstruation (menarche). In socio-cultural contexts where menarche adversely affects educational attainments, early menarche can thus break the virtuous cycle of girls’ human development. This paper focuses on one such context, India, and uses the Young Lives Longitudinal Study to show that starting menses before age twelve causes a 13% decrease in school enrollment rate. …

  4. Health and physical education in the national curriculum: key stage 2 (grade 4, 5 & 6)

    The Syllabus is presented in four strands personality and social development, growth development and health awareness, health of individual and community and physical fitness. Sub-strands include topics such as body awareness, nutrition, common disease and disorders, personal identity, relationship, resilience, environment health, personal hygiene, safety at home school and community, fundamental movement skills, educational gymnastic and swimming. …

  5. Let's talk early and unintended pregnancy!

    This booklet is aimed at helping adolescents better understand important issues in their life related to early and unintended pregnancy (EUP) – including puberty, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and relationships. The booklet starts by exploring the journey from childhood to adulthood. In this section, the changes that happen in males and females during puberty are described. Next, pregnancy in general is explained. Following this, EUP specifically is detailed, including causes, consequences, and prevention. …

  6. Sexuality education in life orientation: scripted lesson plans; Grade 7

    The core aim of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and the new structured lesson plans is to help learners build an understanding of concepts, content, values and attitudes around sexuality, sexual behaviour as well as leading safe and healthy lives. The educator’s guide is intended to assist educators with the provision of content, effective teaching methods and tools for measuring what learners have absorbed. …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Pupil absenteeism, measurement, and menstruation: Evidence from Kenya

    Impact evaluations focused on school absenteeism commonly use school records of untested quality or expensive spot-check data. We use a large dataset on more than 30,000 unannounced random spot-checks for 6,000 female and male students across 30 schools in Western Kenya, with equivalent school record entries. First, we confirm that while absenteeism is common overall, pubescent girls miss more schooldays than boys because of high incidence of school transfers. …

  11. 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.

  12. Menstruation: Breaking the silence, taking action

    In 2014, the United Nations declared May 28 of every year as Menstrual Hygiene Day in recognition of the woes girls and women experience during menstruation. This was a reaffirmation of the world’s commitment to create more befitting living conditions for girls and women. Uganda commemorated the first Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2014 and in August of the same year held the first International Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference, here in Kampala. …

  13. Understanding and managing menstruation: a reader for learners

    This reader is a Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) initiative to provide information to pupils on understanding of menstruation and managing it well, particularly to beginners.

  14. 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. …

  15. 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. …

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