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A time for global action : addressing girls’ menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

This paper briefly describes the state of the evidence on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools, the remaining knowledge gaps, and potential action for making progress on the ten-year agenda of the "MHM in Ten" initiative.

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.
  • Despite increasing evidence and interest in taking action to improve school conditions for girls, there has not been a systematic mapping of MHM priorities or coordination of relevant sectors and disciplines to catalyze change, with a need to develop country-level expertise.
  • Columbia University and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) convened members of academia, nongovernmental organizations, the UN, donor agencies, the private sector, and social entrepreneurial groups in October 2014 (“MHM in Ten) to identify key public health issues requiring prioritization, coordination, and investment by 2024.
  • Five key priorities were identified to guide global, national, and local action.
TitleA time for global action : addressing girls’ menstrual hygiene management needs in schools
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSommer, M., Caruso, B.A., Sahin, M.,, Cavill, S., Mahon, T., Phillips-Howard, P.A.
Secondary TitlePLOS Medicine
Volume13
Issue2
Start Pagee1001962
Pagination1-6 : 1 tab.
Date Published02/2016
Abstract

This paper briefly describes the state of the evidence on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools, the remaining knowledge gaps, and potential action for making progress on the ten-year agenda of the "MHM in Ten" initiative.

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.
  • Despite increasing evidence and interest in taking action to improve school conditions for girls, there has not been a systematic mapping of MHM priorities or coordination of relevant sectors and disciplines to catalyze change, with a need to develop country-level expertise.
  • Columbia University and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) convened members of academia, nongovernmental organizations, the UN, donor agencies, the private sector, and social entrepreneurial groups in October 2014 (“MHM in Ten) to identify key public health issues requiring prioritization, coordination, and investment by 2024.
  • Five key priorities were identified to guide global, national, and local action.
Notes

Includes 45 ref.

DOI10.1371/journal.pmed.1001962

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.