SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:50:17 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Youtube Playlist on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) - do we need sub-categories? - by: Katakana
I am Kanako Katayama from Japan, having worked on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and WASH in Schools (WinS) in rural India for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded project and in Japan, with education and global health background. I had experiences of hard time with toilet-phobia during whole my school life and the strong interest got me to pursue and work on WinS and MHM.
This is my first proper post and, since SuSanA has been the place I’ve always come to hear voices on WASH news for the past 2.5 years, I would like to start with expressing my gratitude to all - Thank you so much!

Following conversations with Elisabeth, WASH United, and WSSCC on twitter, I am writing today to share my Youtube playlist on MHM. (This does not mean that I own the videos or endorse/promote each of them.)
It contains 50 videos on MHM topics that I have come across in recent years and collected together in this Playlist to make them easily accessible.

Also, as SuSanA Youtube account has got an MHM playlist as well (, I would like to suggest that we make new playlists grouped by sub-categories together! My suggestions of sub-category are “field report”, “from conference”, “talk (TED Talk etc.)”, “products/commercials”, “art”, “educational animation”, “MH Day”, “project (movie etc.)”
Your help of suggestions of 1) other videos, 2) sub-categories or general comments would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

~ Kanako]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:57:38 +0000
FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and Sanitation - by: mwaniki
Observing the stance of this forum on the subject of the relationship between FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and Sanitation has been nothing but lukewarm and low key in interest just short of anathema. The scorecard to me is just pathetic.

While other discussions of less importance have taken space and time, the other world was in a convention and has captured the resolutions to protect of the rights girl child to live with dignity in her future womanhood (without FGM) especially in the developing countries full well aware that the developed share the forefont of the practice mostly mystic.

I couldn’t be more admiring to Honorable David Cameron of Britain as he remarked tonight in his speech at the Girl Summit 2014 that the practices were ‘standing rebukes to our world’.

That was a very resourceful speech. Google “FGM summit: Cameron calls for end 'in this generation' for details.


Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:48:24 +0000
Re: Solid research on the ruby cup - by: muench (I refer to your post above from 16 July)

I just read your attachment ("Successful completion of a feasibility study on menstrual solutions for schoolgirls in rural western Kenya") and found that it is very well written. It’s great that you explained the methodology in so much detail and I look forward to seeing your final results and dissemination activities. When do you think it will all be ready for dissemination?

What was the role of the Moon Cup company ( by the way? Are they excited about this, too? Do they see it as a potential business opportunity or more as a social venture activity?

What are your plans regarding larger scale trials and who would fund those?


P.S. The above mentioned study also looked at pads. I liked these quotes, in particular the last one:
BOX 3 – Reported use and effect of products
‘So it is better if I do not go to school until the period stops.
But since they brought us mooncup ….. after bathing you
insert it you just go to school’ (girl)

‘I have noticed that she is very free and does not absent
herself from school like she used to before’ (parent)

‘Yes, I’m feeling good…when I put that mooncup inside I
can run, I can do anything’ (girl)

‘If she has pads she will now concentrate more and in case
she is a clever girl, she will be more clever now’ (parent)
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:46:08 +0000
Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: osbert Osbert]]> Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Thu, 17 Jul 2014 13:27:58 +0000 Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: muench I think it would be a pity if the discourse on menstrual hygiene management was dominated only by "a hidden marketing of sanitary pad products". I guess that could be the case in some instances and that's not desirable - although there are practical reasons for that. (and couldn't one also say "handwashing campaigns are dominated by a hidden marketing of soap products?" What if Unilever is sponsoring handwashing compaigns? Problematic?).

Anyway, what I personally find most relevant in the MHM discussions in connection with WASH is not the spreading of fecal-orally transmitted diseases, that's true. But it's the issues around:
  • taboos (which affect women more than men)
  • empowerment of girls and women; puberty education; and therefore hopefully ultimately less gender-based violence
  • school attendance issues of teenage girls (where MHM plays at least a small part, I am not saying it is the major part)
  • diseases that might be spread by unsanitary pads - here I am not an expert but I would guess urinary tract infections could be one of them

See also this recent post by Madeleine Fogde which I think supports what I am saying:

I think if we can break taboos around menstruation (and reproductive health), then taboos around toilets and sanitation will be easier to break as well.

Also even if MHM was to a large extent "only" a solid waste issue (an issue which menstrual cups do not have compared to pads, as they produce no solid waste; one silicone menstrual cup lasts a women five years or more), then it would still be part of the S in WASH, i.e. solid waste management is part of sanitation.

I might concur with you that it may not be a "priority WASH topic" but it is quite an important WASH topic nonetheless.

Thanks for not being afraid to speak out and raise a "non popular" opinion in your view!
Debate is to be encouraged, it makes the forum an interesting place to be.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:46:11 +0000
Re: Solid research on the ruby cup - by: Maxie
Thanks so much for your answer and research overview. I am looking forward to the overall and statistical results that will provide such valuable insights to all of us.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:29:26 +0000
Re: Solid research on the ruby cup - by: Maxie
Thanks so much for your email. We will definitely monitor the results and our work of distributing Ruby Cups. We have done a minor study with the Red Cross and Womena in Uganda in 2012 but will engage in a bigger research study now with a third party concerning our larger distribution project connected to the crowd funding campaign.

All the best,
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:02:24 +0000
Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: JKMakowka
As Thilde has mentioned, not in all cases do people involved in it (even the women) consider it relevant to WASH infrastructure, and rather deal with it as a solid waste issue. The toilet only comes into the picture because it is the common place were people can deal with it privately.

Now granted, it is a hygiene issue in the broader sense, and WASH programs could certainly have a more inclusive view on that, i.e. a "bathroom" is often as much of an personal hygiene and laundry place as it is a toilet. Pure latrines and hand-washing facilities are maybe appropriate for public places like schools, but certainly not for a home.

Edit: to clarify what I mean: the health/hygiene aspect of WASH mostly deals with the prevention of spreading diseases though the fecal-oral pathway. Improper disposal of sanitary pads can be an issue in that regard, but this is usually not even the main focus of MHM focussed discussions (which is all too often dominated by what seems to be a hidden marketing of sanitary pad products).]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:48:50 +0000
Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: thilde To share some experiences: In our sanitation research project in peri-urban southern Ghana, engineers have invited different user groups to discuss household sanitation preferences, including adolescent girls. Not even in this fora, did issues of menstrual waste and disposal come up.

Only when approaching the engineers to ask if they actually probed the girls or others for this, did they think about including this issue in their data collection and subsequent design plans. The engineers were all men...

From our other studies in the same communities, we know that women burn or bury the menstrual waste - they never dispose of it in toilets or in sewage. Toilets are mainly pit latrines, which are 'emptied' by pouring chemical substances into the pits to decompose the fecal matter. So pads are not allowed there.

Women in Ghane are also very worried that someone might see the menstrual blood, so its safer to take home and burn. Thus, there are no solutions to the disposal problem integrated in public nor private toilets.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:23:41 +0000
Menstrual product research (by Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine with rural school girls in Western Kenya) - by: PennyPH Note by moderator: The following 3 posts were originally in this thread:


We were most interested to read the discussion about menstrual cups, and endorse the view that evidence supporting the relative advantage of cups over other menstrual products would be of value. Through a UK-supported Joint Global Health Trials grant award we have conducted a feasibility (development) study over the past two years to ascertain the acceptability, use, and safety of differing menstrual hygiene products including cups, to generate information on this neglected area of research, and to determine whether a full trial on such a subject could be conducted among rural school girls in western Kenya.

We are currently completing cleaning of our data before getting statistician approval for full analysis. Meanwhile we have made a summary overview of our study to date (see attachment), including web-links to our papers and reports published to date. We are hopeful our feasibility data can contribute towards MHM programmes, and are sufficiently robust to inform a formal trial to test and answer some of the ‘big questions’ on the contribution of menstrual hygiene needs to girls’ schooling, and what interventions can have a cost-effective and measurable impact on girls’ schooling, health, and wellbeing. We will keep everyone posted!

Dr Penelope Phillips-Howard
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, L3 5QA, Liverpool, UK]]>
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:23:20 +0000
Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: inajurga

yes, indeed, blockages and full pits are frequent due to sanitary pads. I find this report really good in regard to systems and MHM.

Still interested if in any household sanitation projects the issue of blood and pad disposal come up by the user or the engineers / designer?

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:15:29 +0000
Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: osbert The question of menstrual Hygiene, has remained a secret in most areas. Most sanitary facilities are designed with out considering the need for disposal of sanitary napkins. In most areas they are thrown in pit latrines and this increases costs of emptying and disposal. There is need to involve women when designing water and sanitation structures.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:40:08 +0000
Solid research on the ruby cup - by: thilde With the impressive magnitude of your initative (5000 girls get a ruby cup), it must be time to implement a high quality designed evaluation of your intervention.

Up till today, there is very little evidence to support the cup as a better alternative to eg. pads to managing menstrual hygiene, decreasing health risks etc. There is also no high quality systematic data on the acceptability of the cup, the affordability, and few good qualitative research studies to shed light on girl's practices etc.

With your organisation and the number og girls included, you would be able to collect systematic data to provide new and solid data.

I hope you will consider this:)

Good luck with your mission.

Note by moderator: A related thread can be found here:
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:22:16 +0000
Re: Menstrual Hygiene Management in household water & sanitation programs - by: RachelTTextiles
No one has replied to your questions yet?

I would love to be informed. Transformation Textiles believes including MHM is an essential to include in household-based WASH programs.

We would love to be involved and are prototyping some approaches to be used this fall in Kenya.

Please keep me informed, if I have missed a new post that answers these questions.

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sun, 13 Jul 2014 23:45:50 +0000
Re: worldwide study of menstrual management - by: SusannahClemence Thank you for responding so helpfully to my question - I am sorry if you did not receive a reply sooner - I must have misdirected my immediate reply!
I would appreciate any specific references for literature you would particularly recommend - I am reading as widely as I can around the topic, but would value guidance from you or anyone else in the field.

I am looking to open up an exchange of information on day-to-day practices, to reveal (I hope) the diversity of approaches and technologies, and their attendant and implied attitudes to menstruation and to womanhood.

My own experience, conversations and initial reading have shown that attitudes can vary widely and shift rapidly, eg from disgust to celebration and back again, with profound implications for women's health, social and economic status. I believe there may be a 2-way influence between such attitudes and the technologies (however simple) employed.

Above all, I believe that open discourse and sharing of experiences, positive as well as negative, will contribute to the empowerment of all women.

So my study may well be initially open, broad and dealing with surface phenomena, but I intend ultimately to focus in on two or three areas to illustrate diverse experiences, then perhaps draw out generalisations.

I would very much like to hear people's suggestions, especially experiences of successful, and unsuccessful, methods of collecting such data,

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:56:31 +0000