Tag Archives: schools

#MenstruationMatters in Bangladeshi schools

28 May is Menstrual Hygiene Day. In Bangladesh, BRAC field staff are working hard to “end the hesitation around menstruation” especially in schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools. Photo: Petra Brussee/IRC

Field staff of BRAC WASH in Bangladesh talk just as easily about menstrual hygiene as they do about water seals for toilets or hand pumps. At community level menstrual hygiene messages are included in the programme for adolescent girls and young women. Since 2006 about 45 million community cluster meetings have been organised.

In rural areas rags are used by women who cannot afford sanitary napkins. Field staff discuss menstrual hygiene with adolescent girls and young women, for example on how to wash rags with soap and dry them in the sun. They are also encouraged to speak up about menstrual hygiene says Abu Taleb Biswas of BRAC WASH in Hygiene Promotion – the backbone of BRAC WASH: “Women and adolescent girls learn to speak up about menstrual hygiene issues, something that was nearly unthinkable even a few years ago.”

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Toilet humour is serious business [video]

An inspirational (and funny) TEDx talk on the impact of school sanitation on girls in India.

Told by Australian busnessman, Mark Balla whose visit to the world’s largest slum Dharavi changed his life and turned him into a “toilet warrior”.

Mark is the Founder and Director of Community Engagement at We Can’t Wait.

Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference

WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education: Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2013.

There is increasing interest in exploring and addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers facing schoolgirls and female teachers in educational settings. Around the globe, WASH in Schools (WinS) focuses on fostering social inclusion and individual self-respect – and addresses MHM as a key agenda. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, integrating MHM into WinS empowers all students, and especially encourages girls and female teachers. mhm

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and UNICEF convened the Second Annual Virtual MHM in WinS Conference at UNICEF Headquarters in New York City on 21 November 2013. Building on recommendations from the MHM 2012 virtual conference, the 2013 conference focused on the research
tools and instruments being used to explore MHM barriers and practices and to evaluate the interventions being trialed or implemented in various contexts.

The one-day event brought together over 150 participants online, involving a range of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and MHM experts, global health and education researchers, social entrepreneurs and policymakers – from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, advocacy organizations and UNICEF country offices implementing MHM-related activities.

Using WebEx, 16 presentations were made from countries around the world, on a wide range of MHM research being conducted in educational settings. The presentations focused on: (1) the tools and and instruments utilized to explore MHM requirements of schoolgirls; and (2) the tools/instruments utilized for monitoring MHM interventions for schoolgirls.

Impact of WASH in improving health of school children reviewed

More attention should be given to the assessment of nutrition practices when assessing the impact of WASH on the health of school children. We also don’t know enough about the long term impact of WASH interventions on child health. These are some of the conclusions that researchers from the Center for Global Health and Development at the the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) drew from a review of the literature [1].

Dr. Ashish Joshi and research assistant Chioma Amadi reviewed the impact of water treatment, hygiene, and sanitary interventions on improving child health outcomes such as absenteeism, infections, knowledge, attitudes, and practices and adoption of point-of-use water treatment.  For their final analysis they selected 15 peer-reviewed English-language studies published between 2009 and 2012 that focused on the effects of access to safe water, hand washing facilities, and hygiene education among school-age children.

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Creative measures improve sanitation programmes in eight African countries

Sapling handwashing, Malawi.

Sapling handwashing, Malawi. Photo: Plan Malawi

Eight African countries are creatively achieving the goals of community led total sanitation programmes (CLTS) including one idea in Malawi where handwashing is monitored according to the health of tree seedlings planted beneath water outlets.

In Zambia several schools have established vegetable gardens to reduce malnutrition and improve school attendance. Some of the harvests have been sold raising funds for school activities.

In Sierra Leone men have traditionally been the community leaders but women are now being encouraged to play a major part in village committees and networks of natural leaders.  To support CLTS women conduct house-to-house monitoring, giving health talks and reporting diseases –- many of them overcoming challenges such as illiteracy to maintain the programme.

Plan International’s five year Pan African CLTS (PAC) programme which ends in December, 2014, is operating in the eight countries of Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi, Ghana and Niger. With the backing of the Dutch government the project was designed to promote and scale up sanitation in communities and schools.

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Nov 21, 2013 – Virtual Menstrual Hygiene Management in WASH in Schools Conference

November 21, 2013 – 2nd Annual Virtual Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in WASH in Schools (WinS) Conference Background: The 2nd annual virtual MHM conference will provide an opportunity to share MHM lessons learned with the WASH in Schools (WinS) community around the world with a particular focus on the tools and instruments being utilized to explore the MHM barriers facing girls, and to measure and evaluate interventions being trialed or implemented. The conference will provide an opportunity to:

  • Share MHM related research tools,
  • Share MHM research findings from different countries
  • Share recommendations for adaptation of existing MHM research tools for WINS practitioners.

There has been much research, programming and policy work conducted over the last year since the inaugural MHM conference, and the 2nd annual conference will enable the showcasing of these findings, and continue to move forward the global effort to fill existing gaps in knowledge and advocacy. We will be hosting another joint Columbia University and UNICEF one-day conference on November 21, 2013 that will bring together WASH and/or MHM experts, relevant global health and education experts, UNICEF country offices, academics and organizations from around the world currently implementing MHM-related activities. This one-day event will provide an opportunity to share experiences on a diversity of contexts along with enabling joint discussion on the way forward.

Latin American and Caribbean countries agree on joint sanitation monitoring

Sanitation in Guatemala. Photo: LatinoSan 2013

Delegates attending LatinoSan 2013 have agreed to set up a Latin-American and Caribbean Observatory on Sanitation. The observatory will monitor progress on sanitation in those countries that have signed up to the LatinoSan initiative. Sub-regional and national sanitation scorecards are already available online.

There will also be a Regional Meeting of Ministries of Sanitation every 2 years.

LatinoSan3-Declaration

These are two of  the commitments written up in the Panama Declaration at the conclusion of  the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean Sanitation Conference, LatinoSan 2013. The conference took place in Panama City from 29 to 31 May 2013.

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