SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Tue, 07 Jul 2015 19:45:59 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: The Cup Kenya - a new program on menstrual cups to educate and empower girls living in challenging environments - by: Camilla
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
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
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.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:42:00 +0000
Re: worldwide study of menstrual management - by: SusannahClemence 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.
[attachment:1]C:\fakepath\presentation powerpoint to put online.pptx[/attachment]
Feedback gratefully received!

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
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:
The Cup Kenya FB page
Twitter: #DignityForAllGirls

Article in The Star Kenya:

See photos from launch:

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:03:27 +0000
Re: Sanitary Pad burner/incinierator design - by: fausto
The issue with incinerating disposable pads, is that if the pads contain chlorine or fluorine, this will give off toxic fumes when burned. As far as I know pads have trace amount of chlorine to bleach them.

The best way of doing this would be to have a catalytic converter attached to the exhaust of your incinerator, this should deal with the toxic fumes.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 10 Jun 2015 06:14:14 +0000
Re: Sanitary Pad burner/incinierator design - by: SusannahClemence Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 10 Jun 2015 05:58:15 +0000 Re: Sanitary Pad burner/incinierator design - by: muench
To answer your question:
Has the subject of the dangers of burning non reusable MHM material been discussed on Susana?

I think the answer is no.

I am guessing that when the menstrual hygiene products contain plastics then the gases produced from burning would not be good for air quality!
It could be that people are caught between a rock and a hardstone though if they have no other way of disposal?

Certainly not ideal.

Perhaps the people on this forum who have experiences with sanitary pad burners could say something about this issue?

It's another reason in favor of menstrual cups which are reused for years and not burned (

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 09 Jun 2015 13:01:48 +0000
Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - And new Wikipedia article - by: Gendersan1
One of the Waterlines articles which I also find mentionable for the Wikipedia article is the paper on applying games as a qualitative method for researching menstrual hygiene management (MHM).
It describes the process of adapting a focus group discussion (FGD) tool for rural Bolivia into a interactive board game (MHM game) as a method to ease girls’ discomfort discussing menstruation and elicit richer data on stigmatized or sensitive issues.

The authors conclude that the MHM Game proved to be an innovative method to engage rural Bolivian girls and understand menstruation-related challenges in school. Furthermore could the existing game also be adapted to focus on other WASH-related behaviours by simply interchanging key questions of the guide.

Long, J.L., Caruso, B.A., Mamani, M., Camacho, G., Vancraeynest, K., Freeman, M.C. (2015). Developing games as a qualitative method for researching menstrual hygiene management in rural Bolivia. Waterlines 34, (1): 68-78. DOI: 10.3362/1756-3488.2015.007

Petra Kohler
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Mon, 01 Jun 2015 09:14:48 +0000
May 28 WASHplus Weekly on Menstrual Hygiene Management - by: campbelldb
Resources in this issue include a WASHplus MHM toolkit, a listing of upcoming and past MHM conferences, webinars on dealing with the disposal of sanitary pads, a special Waterlines issue on MHM, and recent articles, reports, videos, and key MHM-related websites.

Here is the link:
Click here]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 28 May 2015 16:15:07 +0000
Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - And new Wikipedia article - by: muench
Thanks for this hint. Could you please help me out by telling me which statements, examples or facts should be taken onboard in the Wikipedia article (and then with which citation from the articles in that Waterlines issue)? That's better than providing just another general link under Further Reading.

One of the articles in that journal dealt with menstrual cups by the way, and that one we have already included in the Wikipedia page on menstrual cups:

Just to give you an example of how such a citation can be included:

The menstrual cup has been explored as a means of menstrual hygiene management in developing countries such as Kenya and South Africa, where access to affordable sanitary products may be limited.[16]

Whilst menstrual cups can also be used by females in developing countries, a lack of clean water and soap for handwashing before inserting the cup can be a problem, especially in rural areas.[16]

Reference 16 is:
Mason L, Laserson K. F., Oruko K., Nyothach E., Alexander K. T., Odhiambo F. O., Eleveld A., Isiye E., Ngere I., Omoto J., Mohammed A., Vulule J., Phillips-Howard P. A. (2015). "Adolescent schoolgirls' experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study". Waterlines 34 (1): 15–30. doi:10.3362/1756-3488.2015.003.

And could you please also tell us more about your work at Sandec on MHM (in a new thread)?


Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 28 May 2015 15:29:11 +0000
Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - And new Wikipedia article - by: Gendersan1
This is a great contribution to Wikipedia!

Regarding high quality inputs you could also add the Waterlines, Jan 2015 issue on Menstrual Hygiene

Warm regards,
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 28 May 2015 15:16:13 +0000
Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - by: KaiMikkel Here's an article that details what I'm referring to - one that's sure to make your blood boil!]]> Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 20 May 2015 17:25:22 +0000 Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - by: muench
Good news! We have a Wikipedia article about Menstrual Hygiene Day!

12 days to go until this year's Menstrual Hygiene Day...

High time to ensure that journalists who are looking for information about this day on Wikipedia will find something...

Therefore, I had proposed to create a Wikipedia page on Menstrual Hygiene Day. Denise Reck and Ina Jurga from WASH United followed my proposal. Denise wrote the first draft of the article. I then put it into Wikipedia language (trying to take out any bias, making it sound encyclopedic), added more references and photos, used the standard headings we had developed in the WikiProject Sanitation and voilà, here is the brand new Wikipedia article on Menstrual Hygiene Day:

While putting it together I realised we needed information about Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in there. In fact, as I wrote on the talk page of the article (

Newly created page, explanations

I have set up this page; I added a redirect from menstrual hygiene management (MHM). An alternative option might have been to set up a new page called menstrual hygiene management, but I decided to do it this way - the menstrual hygiene day is a day to raise awareness for better menstrual hygiene management. If the page grows a lot in future, it could be split in two. But for now, I think the two topics go nicely hand in hand together. Feedback, comments and further improvements are welcome. EvM-Susana (talk) 13:31, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

I invite anyone with an interest in MHM to help improve this article in any of the following ways:
  • Read what we have written, correct any typos or make language improvements to make it easier to understand for the layperson (note: you don't need a Wikipedia login for that, just click on the edit button at the top of the Wikipedia page; if you do decide to get a Wikipedia login, then be sure to turn on the Visual Editor which is more comfortable to use, see here)
  • Please avoid any words that may introduce bias (good explanation about that is here) - this is actually a bit of a switch in mindset, as we are used to - on other websites - to glow a bit about our work.
  • Add citations whereever I have put the tag: {{citation needed}}. When you are citing a big report, also add the page number. Refrain from using copy & paste, even if it's tempting but rather paraphrase (mind you, for the definition of MHM I chose to quote directly).
  • I have already cited the documents on MHM that I thought were very important (i.e. the ones that I had listed as key documents here:; but of course nothing speaks against citing other high quality sources (please no blog posts or forum posts as sources though; even citing websites is borderline but can be done in certain cases)
  • Propose additional photos.
  • Add additional content.

This can be your own personal contribution to celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2015!


P.S. Giacomo, you could add key statements from the paper that you recommended in the post above mine. Normally (at least for articles on medical topics) review articles are preferred over primary research articles. But when there is a lack of publications then this kind of article is also valid, I would say.]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 17 May 2015 10:14:07 +0000
Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - by: ggalli Not directly related to the event, but I really liked this article:

Menstrual hygiene management: education and empowerment for girls?

This paper discusses the recent attention of the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
sector to resolving the menstrual hygiene crisis for young girls in developing countries. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) interventions, including the use of sanitary pads, education and awareness, and where possible separate, sanitary toilets, are identified to have far-reaching impacts on the education and empowerment of girls. Field research conducted in Ghana’s Northern Region indicates a pronounced socialized, sexualized understanding and experience of menstruation among young girls and their families, school teachers, and local NGOs. Unfortunately WASH initiatives only allow interventions to manage menstrual hygiene, leaving the young girls and others in their social settings to deal with the larger subset of sexuality issues. We argue that opening the dominant discourse of a medicalized concept of menstruation to other meanings and experiences will have significant implications for the education and empowerment of young adolescent girls.

Keywords: menstruation, Ghana, hygiene, medicalized, sexualized, education, empowerment

Other work of Deepa Joshi also focused on the issue of homelessness and perceptions of hygiene, also related to menstruation:

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 13 May 2015 11:59:48 +0000
Re: 28 May is MH Day - Let's end the hesitation around menstruation - by: nicolag
If you can believe it I think we actually do have Rose George on board - such a fantastic, passionate (and far more articulate than me!) advocate for this work. She will take part in the debate in the evening.

You might be interested in the trailer of the film we're showing, The Menstrual Man:

Please do share with your SE contacts - we are a bit upset that MHD falls in the exam season for students, thus ruling an important group out, but we do hope lots can make it.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 13 May 2015 06:23:18 +0000