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Global Research Update #12

WoMena (Tellier, S & Hyttel, M) (2018) in a review paper: Menstrual Health Management in East and Southern Africa: A Review Paper  aim to identify possible linkages to SRHR-related issues, and to provide an overview of MHM policies and programs 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. It addresses barriers and enablers for scalability of MHM programs such as knowledge, attitudes, and cultural perceptions, availability of menstrual products and supplies and sanitation facilities, and policy. Furthermore, the review aims to identify research gaps both in terms of topics and methodological issues, and providing recommendations for how to address the gaps identified.



WoMena in its FAQs section has provided answers to three common questions (1) Are Menstrual Cups acceptable to Muslims, (2) Does the use of Menstrual Cups increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome, and (3)Can you use a Menstrual Cup when also using an IUD.



Fouly et al. (2018) in a cross-sectional/ quasi experimental study of 200 adolescent girls from both rural and urban preparatory schools in Asyut city, Egypt: Exploring the habits followed among adolescents and their families toward treatment for delayed menstrual cycle at puberty found significant changes in parents’ opinions towards treatment choices for delayed menstruation and also urban and rural adolescent students’ knowledge about causes of delayed menstruation during pre/post orientation program. The study also indicated a significant difference between urban and rural in their opinion related to options of seeking care. Moreover, regarding the locality of adolescent participants, the results showed a significant improvement (almost 50%) of urban adolescent students’ information related to the definition of primary amenorrhea compared to 20% of rural adolescents. Also, regarding the causes of delayed menstruation 40% of urban adolescent answered correctly while rural findings reflected 50%. At the end, the authors suggest the requirement of further research for understanding the relationship between knowledge and habits toward puberty abnormalities and their management, provision of students in the preparatory phase with a simple guidance program about abnormality during puberty stage, and improving the awareness of primary schools in their localities toward this topic through faculties of nursing.


Neils (2018) in her paper: Menstrual Hygiene Management in Humanitarian Emergencies provides suggestions on how to promote MHM practice for any response during humanitarian emergencies including (1) Ensuring humanitarian responses on MHM are accurately sensitive and well trained, (2)Consulting with women and girls on their MHM needs, (3)Providing appropriate and culturally sensitive hygiene kits that contain enough supplies, (4)Ensuring the safety and security of women and girls through well-planned and appropriately- designed latrines and bathing facilities, (5)Ensuring that girls and women with specific needs are reached, (6)Providing for sanitary disposal and waste management, (7)Ensuring MHM is provided in schools during emergencies and protracted crises, and (8)Tailoring the MHM response to different stages of an emergency.


Pokharel (2018) in her thesis by using a descriptive cross-sectional study: Availability of WASH facilities for effective Menstrual Hygiene Management at Home for Rural Kenyan School Girls found that although 99.8% of girls had access to water at houses, 20% of the houses had no latrine, and even houses with latrine lacked doors or walls. Latrine cleaning materials were absent in 8% of the houses, and only 45% of them had soap available after using latrine. For 20% of girls, private space was not available to maintain personal hygiene. Findings also indicated that only 43% of girls and 35.7% of mothers use pads while the remaining of them use other items such as cloths, old clothes, tissue papers, sanitary towels, cotton wool, etc, and 2% of mothers and 0.5% of girls reported to have no hygiene materials during menstruation. The author recommends studies needed to be conducted not only in school environment, but also in home environment.