SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication http://forum.susana.org/ Tue, 04 Aug 2015 03:22:45 +0000 Kunena 1.6 http://forum.susana.org/components/com_kunena/template/default/images/icons/rss.png SuSanA - Forum http://forum.susana.org/ en-gb Re: Critical commentary from India - Why India Doesn’t Need The Sanitary Napkin Revolution - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14255 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14255
That thing about not necessarily promoting disposable pads because it creates a solid waste problem I would also agree with.

The argument might fall apart though if you take menstrual cups. This is a product that women from developed and developing countries enjoy using alike (and it's a minority in both societies so far who uses that). Mind you one difference is that issue about "unmarried women" not meant to use something that is inserted (i.e. no tampons either). Here, I like though how Penny Phillips-Howard has challenged us by saying:

The general view when talking to professionals here is that menstrual cups would not be used by girls [saying they can only be used by 'married' women], but there is no evidence to show this either way. maybe they are right, but it would be good to validate. One paper in Nepalese schoolgirls (Oster and Thornton) suggests girls will use, I attach the file.


(see her post here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-men...g-environments#14163)

Anyway, the opinion piece by Sinu Joseph does leave me wondering if some issues are sometimes "hyped up" to get more funding and attention (getting attention for menstrual hygiene issues is at the moment in general a good thing, to pull it out of the taboo corner).
Susannah, can you elaborate on:
Added to this, the West has MORE of a problem with hiding away menstruation and its paraphernalia than some other cultures


It's hard to compare it exactly and yes, taboos exist also in Western societies around menstruation but I would argue they are indeed quite a bit less severe and serious than what I have read about for some other cultures. Take the example of mothers not talking to their daughters about menstruation, I would say that's pretty rare in the West, isn't it? Girls not knowing what happens when they start bleeding? Very rare. School curriculums not teaching kids about menstruation? Also rare. Girls too embarrassed to ask their father for money to buy menstrual hygiene products? Rare, I would have thought?]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:36:19 +0000
Critical commentary from India - Why India Doesn’t Need The Sanitary Napkin Revolution - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14253 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14253-critical-commentary-from-india-why-india-doesnt-need-the-sanitary-napkin-revolution#14253 swarajyamag.com/culture/why-india-doesnt...y-napkin-revolution/

I find this perspective from Sinu Joseph whom I met at the SMCR conference, very interesting.

My own studies of the current literature on global menstrual management practices show that long-standing, tried-and-tested local practices tend to be referred to as deficit. When replaced by 'Western' methods eg disposable pads, these import the same problems as they already cause the West - ie disposal, toxic fumes from incineration, etc. Added to this, the West has MORE of a problem with hiding away menstruation and its paraphernalia than some other cultures (vide Nikki Dunnavant's experiences in Nepal, where 'everybody knew' when she was menstruating).

Perhaps we should look to learn more from 'developing' nations, and bring some of this knowledge back to the West.

Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:53:13 +0000
Re: New Frontiers Issue 6: Breaking the next taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS - by: Petra http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14242 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14242 www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/reso...-hygiene-within-clts

Thanks for letting me know.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 08:49:03 +0000
Re: New Frontiers Issue 6: Breaking the next taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS - by: F H Mughal http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14237 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14237
The link is not working. It is giving Error 404.

Regards,

F H Mughal]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 04:24:45 +0000
New Frontiers Issue 6: Breaking the next taboo: Menstrual Hygiene within CLTS - by: Petra http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14225 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/14225-new-frontiers-issue-6-breaking-the-next-taboo-menstrual-hygiene-within-clts#14225

www.communityledtotalsanitation.org/reso...-hygiene-within-clts]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:03:30 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: Camilla http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14166 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14166
Thank you for your input and sharing of information.

The cup has many advantages not only in these situations but for all women.

We focus a lot on hygiene in our trainings and girls do bring a bottle of clean water for rinsing the cup to schools, a bit like bringing water for washing when going to the toilet.

Camilla]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:54:19 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: PennyPH http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14163 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14163 Thanks for your response.

You are asking million dollar questions - first for (some) countries of Asia, indeed there are differing cultural dimensions. There are a number of colleagues working in development, NGO, government, and academic sectors who have accumulated much knowledge around this topic over many years (can pass on some contacts if needed). There are a few hundred published papers also. The general view when talking to professionals here is that menstrual cups would not be used by girls [saying they can only be used by 'married' women], but there is no evidence to show this either way. maybe they are right, but it would be good to validate. One paper in Nepalese schoolgirls (Oster and Thornton) suggests girls will use, I attach the file. We and some other colleagues would be keen to do an acceptability feasibility study should any funding be available.

Water and sanitation in schools and at home was not at a particularly high level in our Kenya study. We had a minimum threshold (see one of attached papers). Because of concerns of infection, we also provided hand wash detergent to schools and bar soap individually to all study girls to support hand-washing - we have WASH follow up data observations we are analyzing to see if soap etc was actually available at unannounced school spot-checks, and longitudinally measuring the level of WASH in school on the termly spot-check days.

Logistically we could not provide water but girls first, don't need to wash the cups every time they empty (just reinsert), and second girls themselves were (are) incredibly resourceful - they would bring their own bottle water in if the school was dry, or water was far from reach, to ensure they stayed clean and were not embarrassed.

Our experience in Kenya was that girls initially had concerns about using cups, and uptake took a little time, but they have so little resources that an opportunity to have something that helped them overcame these barriers - along with repeated study nurse training and also older aged girls peer support (a secondary school in same region had cups donated by charity over many years, so girls were our 'champions'). A second paper is attached on the qualitative findings describing this (Mason et al), and also one on the WASH conditions of the schools (we do have home WASH also, but will take a while to complete analysis).

Hope this helps
Anyone want to fund a menstrual cup acceptability study among girls - happy to hear from you!
best, Penny]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:49:53 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: jbr http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14162 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14162
Thanks for sharing news of your study and future research! We are seeing how to consider menstrual cups in the Asia context and I was wondering if you area aware of similar initiatives /points of contact in Asia?

Specifically:
In the homes and schools for your trial, is there enough clean water for girls to wash themselves and the cups?

According to my colleagues, in Asia menstruating women are considered "unclean", products used are used are hidden and not discussed. The topic itself is still very taboo. Did you have resistance on this front? (The colleagues find it difficult to imagine it being acceptable in Asian countries.)

What was the perception of the girls themselves towards this new product? Did they report preference over the previous products they used?

Very best regards,
John Brogan
Terre des hommes
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 12 Jul 2015 08:11:02 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: PennyPH http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14115 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14115
Our collaborative partnership (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Kenya Medical Research Institute, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Safe Water and AIDS Project) in western Kenya, recently completed a feasibility study following up girls provided menstrual cups, sanitary pads, or usual practice (control) in 30 rural primary schools for over a year. We had routine nurse screening, lab-confirmation studies,community and facility monitoring to check if girls could potentially acquire TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome); plus checking a swatch of used cups among staph aureus positive girls, for TSS-toxin 1. Within this pilot number (~200 girls) there was no adverse harms.

It is our understanding no TSS has been associated with cups because vaginal insertion does not dry the mucosal lining and thus does not cause micro-trauma (but do check with cup companies that have ongoing safety monitoring schemes that there are no cases). These safety results (not yet published) are sufficient for our UK funders to support now a much larger scale trial (~2000 girls), where we will also continue vigilance to contribute toward global safety data.
Hope this helps. You may also contact me directly if more questions, or just put them in this thread.

Penelope Phillips-Howard
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, L3 5QA, Liverpool, UK
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Centre for Global Health Research, P.O.Box 1578, 40100 Kisumu, Kenya
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 09 Jul 2015 08:03:45 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: jbr http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14113 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14113
Thank you for this post promoting the use of menstrual cups. Our team is interested to learn more, especially as an alternative to (improper) incineration of MHM materials. Could you provide references and views on the following:

In Asia where Sanitary pads/ cloths are the norm, tampons are not culturally acceptable and definitely not for unmarried girls even among the most educated of women. Is there any experience with use of menstrual cups in Asia?

Besides cultural acceptability, in situations where clean water and hygiene are major constraints- we assume that use of the devices comes with major risks. Has "Toxic Shock Syndrome" (documented with tampons and considered for any product inserted vaginally) been studied in the context of developing countries?


Best regards,

John Brogan
Terre des hommes]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 09 Jul 2015 06:31:16 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: SusannahSoilet http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14107 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14107
And on a personal note from me too, changing to a menstrual cup was such a worthwhile thing to do - I'm quite sad I've now reached the age where it isn't needed! My eldest daughter, a midwife, also uses one and tries to spread awareness amongst her mums.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:09:48 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: Camilla http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14051 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#14051
Thank you for your questions and interest in my new project The Cup.

Why I left Peepoople, well it just happened. I am a fighter and like to be in the front line. When identified in Kibera that so many girls were selling themselves for pads I was shocked. Some say 30 to 50% of the girls between 9-18 feel forced to have sex to get money for pads.

And my analyses say it is not only in Nairobi slums, it is a problem driven by poverty. When there is nothing available, the cloth, madrases are not there, newspaper doesn't work, mud, feathers neither, what does a girl do?! Parents are not there, she is alone and no one to talk to. To bleed is not an easy problem to handle.

And having sex for pads creates worse problems than missing school every month (even if you stay at home you still have to have something) but you can't perhaps tell your parents or the guardians you have your period, you can't stay at home.

The girls are risking their lives. What we have learned now since we have reached out to almost 1000 girls with The Cup program since February in Kibera is that girls don't use condoms, don't even know what they are, don't know what AIDS is, or how you get pregnant. The risk for catching a disease, becoming pregnant, doing illegal abortions, entering serious prostitution is huge.

And back to why I started this, I hadn't read or heard about this. So I thought there must be something that can be done. This is inhuman. Girls 9-14 are the most vulnerable in the society, they don't have a voice. And thought it must be possible to develop a program that is scale-able but on same time longterm, with little investment per girl, but with huge impact.

The Cup program is about more than providing a sustainable menstrual solution (menstrual cups). It is about education in life skills and providing mentorship support. All key while a girl grow up.

To support a girl with the Cup program costs only 20 USD. A cup lasts 10 years. Our training program takes place in four session over two weeks in schools. After the program the girls can turn to the team if they have problems or need help at anytime.We do follow ups after two months. The team put girls in touch with MSF if they need help with health problems or been raped (MSF provides counseling and medical support).

We have currently two teams in Kibera going from school to school. All trainers are from a similar background and have experienced the similar challenges while growing up. This creates trust between the girls and the trainers which enables the trainings to be more efficient and powerful. To talk about sex and reproductive health etc is delicate. We also work on team building with the girls and train them in human rights as well as show them how they can go to university etc.

The Swedish foundation Giving Wings have given support to reach out to 2000 girls during 2015 but my aim is to reach thousands and thousands of girls, like a movement.

To do this I and my partner have started a world campaign informing all women about menstrual cups. Our estimates say that less than 1% know of the menstrual cup in the world, which is crazy when it has so many advantages. All should know another option exists. We have partnered with some cup producers: Ruby Cup, Lunette and Mooncup. More cup makers will come on board. We market the "cup" and they give us menstrual cups for reduced price.

But the mission is to make a difference. The campaign also fundraises for underpriviliged girls and informs about the Cup program.

We launched the campaign on MH day. In Kibera we invited all children 9-16, boys and girls and parents to an event hosted by The Cup, Kewasnet and Ghetto Radio. The aim of using a popular artists and Ghetto Radio was to really try to break a taboo by having these role models/men talk to both boys and girls about menstruation and the girls problems etc. And it worked. More than 3000 came, mostly kids and I think it was a breaking of a taboo.

For more info please visit thecup.org
For updates from Kibera role out please follow The Cup Kenya Facebook page.

For any questions please write here or email me on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 05 Jul 2015 09:02:48 +0000
Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: muench http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#13922 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#13922
Thanks for your post. So you have moved from Peepoo bags to menstrual cups? How come?
And how is your new project funded?

These two photos are pretty impressive, can you explain what is shown there? It is good to see men get involved in your awareness raising campaign!
The young male in the second photo must be a popular pop star to something in Kenya? Oh, wait, now I saw in your post: it is probably: one of Kenyas most popular young artists, Bahati

How many of these menstrual cups have you sold or given away so far? Which brand is it using? Are you using an existing brand (e.g. Diva Cup, Ruby Cup, Moon Cup) or your own brand? If the latter, does anything dinstinguish it from the other brands that I mentioned?

As a side note: For me personally, I think menstrual cups are awesome, for me it is the best alternative, far better than tampons or pads of any kinds. That's just my personal opinion; obviously different women have different preferences for all sorts of reasons.

Regards,
Elisabeth]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:42:00 +0000
Re: worldwide study of menstrual management - by: SusannahClemence http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management#13908 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/8936-worldwide-study-of-menstrual-management#13908 another attempt at uploading file - using a newer computer with all the fancy software!
This (again) is a version of a presentation given at the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research in Boston early June.
It's a very condensed version of what I found from looking at the current literature on the subject.

Feedback gratefully received!

Susannah]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sat, 27 Jun 2015 19:41:14 +0000
The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: Camilla http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#13745 http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-menstrual-hygiene-management-mhm/13745-the-cup-kenya-a-new-program-on-menstrual-cups-to-educate-and-empower-girls-living-in-challenging-environments#13745
On MH day (Menstrual Hygiene Day, 28 May 2015) we launched our global campaign in Kibera Nairobi together with the radio station Ghetto Radio and one of Kenyas most popular young artist Bahati.

All school children age 9-16 in Kibera were invited and finally more than 3000 attended the celebration.

It was a real breaking of the taboo. Menstruation and challenges girls face were spoken about all in the open by the role models.

For more info about The Cup contact:

Camilla Wirseen
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or visit:
www.thecup.org
The Cup Kenya FB page
Twitter: #DignityForAllGirls

Article in The Star Kenya:
the-star.co.ke/news/could-menstrual-cups...ZvWYcb.5QLuqNU3.dpbs


See photos from launch:





Camilla]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:03:27 +0000