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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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.

  4. The crisis in the classroom: the state of the world's toilets 2018

    The report, The Crisis in the Classroom: The State of the World’s Toilets 2018, reveals the countries where children are struggling most to access a toilet at school and at home, and highlights those that have made good progress. It calls on governments to take urgent action to make decent toilets normal not just for children but for everyone everywhere by 2030.

  5. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  6. Menstrual health management in East and Southern Africa: a review paper

    This review provides an overview of MHM policies and programmes in the ESA region, with a focus on education, school and community-based sexuality education, WASH, sexual and reproductive health, workplace support and humanitarian programming, as well as opening up the discussion regarding marginalized groups of women and girls such as disabled, prisoners and transgender men.

  7. Core questions and indicators for monitoring WASH in schools in the Sustainable Development Goals

    This document presents recommended core questions to support harmonised monitoring of WASH in schools as part of the SDGs. The questions map to harmonised indicator definitions of “basic” service and to service ladders that can be used to monitor progress. They are intended for use in national or sub-national facility surveys and census questionnaires. If national and sub-national surveys use the questions and response categories in this guide, it will help to improve survey comparability over time and between countries, as well as harmonise data with the SDG definitions for WASH in schools.

  8. First East and Southern Africa regional symposium: improving menstrual health management for adolescent girls and women

    Menstral health management (MHM) has gained greater attention in recent years. It is now understood as an integrated, cross-sectoral response involving sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and life skills, water, hygiene and sanitation, and waste disposal, both in development and humanitarian contexts. This historic meeting of committed professionals was an important step towards consolidating support for strengthening MHM in the region, particularly since it is implicit in the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals and those within Agenda 2063. …

  9. Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: global baseline report 2018

    The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are responsible for monitoring global progress towards water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets. The global effort to achieve sanitation and water for all by 2030 is extending beyond the household to include institutional settings, such as schools, healthcare facilities and workplaces. This joint report is the first comprehensive global assessment of WASH in schools and establishes a baseline for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) period.

  10. Water, sanitation and hygiene standards for schools in low-cost settings

    Adequate provision of water supply, sanitation, hygiene and waste management in schools has a number of positive effects and contributes to a reduced burden of disease among children, staff and their families. Such interventions also provide opportunities for greater gender equity in access to education, and create educational opportunities to promote safe environments at home and in communities. This document provides guidance on water, sanitation and hygiene required in schools. …

  11. Zimbabwe school health policy

    The Zimbabwe School Health Policy (ZSHP) provides a broad frame of reference to guide the implementation of a number of health related issues relating to the welfare of learners in the school system, such as health and nutrition,education services, water, sanitation and hygiene, needs of learners with disabilities, mental health, sexual and reproductive health concerns, and the care and support provisions as well as guidance and counseling needs of all learners.

  12. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene management in selected KwaZulu-Natal schools

    The focus of this study was on the impact of menstruation and menstrual hygiene management on girl learners in schools in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Issues related to cultural practices, teachings about menstruation, access to sanitary supplies necessary during menstruation and to sanitation, as well as psychological trauma, particularly at menarche (the time of their first menstruation), were looked at. The study also attempted to capture the feelings and experiences of learners and their knowledge at menarche.

  13. Menstrual hygiene management compliance in primary schools in Uganda: a case of Lira Municipality

    The main objective of the study was to determine the influence of Menstrual Hygiene Management on school absenteeism of adolescent girls in 10 primary schools in Lira municipality. Our findings highlighted that; majority of the respondent’s onset of the menstruation was at 13 years of age, 60% of the participants used disposable pads. Most respondents changed their pads at least twice a day. Two fifth of the primary girls reported missing school for about 3 days during menstrual periods pointing to the lack of menstrual hygiene products. …

  14. Menstrual hygiene management to improve the attendance of primary school-aged girls in Central North, Burkina Faso

    How to improve the conditions for girls to attend school, to reduce failure and drop-out rates of adolescent girls, while ensuring their dignity and protection? This was the consideration that motivated the Kom-Yilma project, implemented by Catholic Relief Services in Burkina Faso and financed by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, to undertake a behavior-change strategy for menstrual-hygiene management in 118 schools in Bam and Sanmatenga Provinces. …

  15. Attention to menstrual hygiene management in schools: An analysis of education policy documents in low- and middle-income countries

    Recent decades have seen a push for gender parity in education in low resource countries. Attention is shifting to how school environments hinder the achievement of gender equality. One effort, primarily led by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, includes a focus on the needs of menstruating girls.

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