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IRC Uganda is now a leading member of the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Coalition in Uganda and is helping to develop MHM indicators.

School children in Uganda

In a further reflection on Menstrual Hygiene Management day (MHM), which took place only two weeks ago, we are once again reminded on the importance of keeping girls in school as has been especially highlighted in the study that IRC undertook in Uganda in collaboration with SNV.

Study showed that girls between the ages of 11 and 13 miss 11% of their time in school due to menstruation and its associated challenges

The purpose of this study was to focus on evidence-based advocacy by carrying out an action research study on the impact of menstrual hygiene and school sanitation, hygiene on class attendance and potential school drop-out.
It showed that girls between the ages of 11 and 13 miss 11% of their time in school due to menstruation and its associated challenges. It also showed that over 60% of the girl pupils absent themselves from school during their menstruation – a relatively high level of absenteeism. Over 50% of senior women teachers confirmed that there is no provision for menstrual pads to school girls.

As a result from this study, we have seen some important developments taking place in Uganda as cited in our earlier blog.

IRC Uganda is now a leading member of the MHM Coalition in Uganda, together with WaterAid, Plan, Ministry of Education. IRC Uganda, Water Aid, NETWAS and Ministry of Education have also been given the task to develop MHM indicators and Terms of Reference for the Coalition/steering committee – the process is underway and first drafts have already been shared with the bigger team.

Since IRC Uganda was appointed as National Coordinator for WSSCC, a three-year Strategic Engagement Plan has been developed and approved, with MHM as one of the key areas of intervention. This is another important milestone for the work being undertaken by IRC Uganda in bringing WASH in schools especially for girls to the forefront.

 More on the plan of action around this proposal will be coming out in a follow up blog.

 Authored by Marielle Snel and Lydia Mirembe

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