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Global Research Update #1

indianjhealthsci103249-2846818_075428-1Shoor (2017) in A study of knowledge, attitude, and practices of menstrual health among adolescent school girls in urban field practice area of medical college, Tumkur of 452 adolescent school girls in India concluded that girls had unsatisfactory knowledge,  but good practice regarding menstrual health.  One of the findings was that ‘Only 37.39% girls knew that infection would occur if they do not clean their vagina regularly during menstruation’.  t 57.08% of girls were aware that the best sanitary products are pads.





A Master’s thesis Identifying and Addressing the Challenges of Mainstreaming the Menstrual Cup in Uganda by Hagander and Velin (2017) discusses what barriers may exist for higher demand for menstrual cups, and points to affordability, acceptability, and limited awareness among both Ugandan girls and women as well as among decision-makers on higher levels. Challenges associated with creating availability were found to relate to poor infrastructure, difficulty to find service providers willing to push for the product and taking on the financial risk, regulations, and the lack of information.





A Study of adaptability and efficacy of menstrual cup in managing menstrual health and hygiene by Kakani and Bhatt (2017) from Gujarat, India aimed towards assessing the adaptability and the effectiveness of menstrual cup by inexperienced users who have been using sanitary pads/tampons/cloth as conventional menstrual sanitary protection. 158 participants were provided with menstrual cups, given detailed explanation/information about its usage, and feedback was obtained after three cycles. The cup was preferred for comfort, dryness, and less odor. Insertion was easy for 80% participants and 90% participants found removal easy. Leakage was encountered in 3-6%. There were few side effects like rashes, dryness or infection.





Salau and Ogunfowokan (2017) in a study in Nigeria of 420 school girls and 10 school nurses Pubertal Communication Between School Nurses and Adolescent Girls in Ile-Ife, Nigeria showed that school nurses paid more attention to physical body changes, menarche, and menstrual hygiene as contents of pubertal communication rather than contraception, prevention of sexually transmitted infection, and teenage pregnancy prevention. Materials for communication were reportedly lacking in many of the schools, and school management reportedly censors pubertal information. The researchers call for better materials and encouragement to give comprehensive pubertal education irrespective of values and beliefs.






A qualitative methods study by Girod et al (2017) of girls in informal settlement primary schools in Nairobi Physical, Social, and Political Inequities Constraining Girls’ Menstrual Management at Schools in Informal Settlements of Nairobi, Kenya showed that access to MHM materials was inadequate both where they were provided by public schools and where they were not supplied at all by private schools.  Although sanitation facilities were available, their design was inadequate for Muslim girls to perform ablutions






clean-and-fresh_-understanding-womens-use-of-vaginal-hygiene-products-_-springerlink-1Jenkins et al (2017) in a study from Canada “Clean and Fresh”: Understanding Women’s use of Vaginal Hygiene Products note that vaginal hygiene products in North America are a 2 billion dollar industry which focuses on freshness and cleanliness, and argue that this marketing contributes to constructing female genitalia as unclean. The study concluded thatsome of the products advertised potentially are harmful to health (including increased susceptibility to infections).







Mucheras and Thomas (2017) in a of 150 school girls in Kenya Reducing barriers to primary school education for girls in rural Kenya: reusable pads’ intervention compares 25 who had not passed menarche with 125 who had, of whom 34 girls received reusable pads and 91 did not. Those who received pads had similar comfort levels at school to those who had not passed menarche. Compared to those who had not received pads they experienced less negative influence on school attendance and work, lower levels of wanting to hide their menstrual cycle from friends and family, higher levels comfort at home and school and lower levels of fear.




share_-mhm_policybrief_2017-1Balls, E et al (2017) SHARE. Menstrual Hygiene Management- Policy Brief ,summarises research on MHM, concludes that there is need for further research on MHM/urogenital infections, vulnerable groups (e.g. refugees), on the impact of different interventions in schools (e.g. what combination of hardware and software works best) as well as on how to measure progress.