Girls in low- and lower-middle income countries face challenges in menstrual health management (MHM), which impact their health and schooling. This might be exacerbated by refugee conditions. Faced with frequent staining accidents and exposure to recurrent infections, this situation reduces most girls’ experiences of menstruation to a monthly dose of discomfort and shame. Girls, especially those in school suffer most from gender inequality, discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, poverty and lack of basic services which often cause girls’ menstrual health and hygiene needs to go unmet.
It is not uncommon for adolescent girls who attend school whilst living in a settlement to miss class if they are unable to manage their periods. A survey of girls living in the Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda found that 43% of girls miss school during their periods. This is in large part due fears of leaking accidents, teasing from peers, and the staining of clothes.
Because of these challenges, Windle International Uganda in partnership with SDG Youth (South Korea) signed a contract to improve Menstrual Hygiene Management at Kabahinda Primary School, Nakivale Refugee Settlement through a number of interventions.
The project which targets vulnerable adolescent and teenage girls of Kabahinda Primary School in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, South Western Uganda will benefit a total of 100 girls who will be selected by different stakeholders. These will be provided with period panties to improve their menstrual hygiene.
Some of the key project interventions include;
- Handover of period panties to Kabahinda Primary School; this will offer an advocacy opportunity to decision makers especially the relevant local government official and leaders to prioritise MHM in their plans.
- Conducting social mobilisation and engagement through schools and local communities to support MHM.
- Conduct radio talk show to disseminate information about MHM
- Printing and distribution of leaflets with information on good MHM practices
The project will put a critical spotlight on the challenges vulnerable adolescent and teenage girls face during their periods and will be supported to address whilst working with the different structures in the settlement.