MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

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  • rak2136
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MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Hello! We are a research team headed by Dr. Marni Sommer of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and we are conducting a global review of what is being done in emergency settings (post-conflict/post-disaster) around menstrual-hygiene management (MHM). As there is not a great deal in the literature about this topic, we are hoping to gather information from experts in the field who have first-hand experience of what has been done, or who have recommendations of what should be done. Please feel free to post responses in the discussion thread or to email Dr. Sommer directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We would very much appreciate insights into these questions:

1) In your experience, how often have humanitarian responses included attention to adolescent girls’ and women’s menstrual needs (or only to one group and not the other, if that was the case), and what have these responses included? (e.g. pads, cloth, underwear, adequate latrines, water, etc.—or only one or two aspects of the MHM needs of girls/women)?

2) How did the humanitarian response teams assess girls’ and women’s MHM-related needs (pads, cloths, toilets, water)? Did they base their decisions on Sphere or other guidelines? Did they conduct interviews, focus groups, or a survey? Did they use a rapid assessment questionnaire? If so, could you share a copy of the questions with us?

3) Are there any further written documents—such as reports, assessments, or articles—that you would recommend we follow up with to learn more about the response? (If they are internal or unpublished documents—would it be possible to send a copy to Dr. Sommer?) Are there any additional organizations or further people to contact that you would recommend we follow up with to learn more about the response?

4) In your experience, what are some of the gaps or areas for improvement in the humanitarian response to MHM in post-conflict/post-disaster settings? What would be some of your recommendations for how best to respond to girls’ and women’s MHM-related needs in humanitarian emergencies?


Please feel free to contact Marni Sommer at Columbia University (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you think of any additional thoughts, experiences, recommendations, contacts, or suggestions you would like to convey.

Many thanks again for your kind assistance with these questions!
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  • Doreen
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Hello,

Thank you for your post. I would be delighted to assist you further with the information that you require.

It is true that there is not a great deal of literature about what is being done in emergency settings (post-conflict/post-disaster) around menstrual-hygiene management.

I will consult with some of my colleagues to find out who can provide more information.
In the meantime, we do have some information concerning Menstrual-Hygiene Management (MHM)in our library. Below you will find the link.

www.susana.org/lang-en/library

All SuSanA materials are freely available following the open source concept for Capacity Development and non-profit use, so long as proper acknowledgement of the source is made when used.

I will get back to you once I consult with my colleagues.

Best regards,

Doreen
Doreen Mbalo

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Policy Advisor in Bonn, Germany
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Dear Doreen, Thank you so much for your offer to help us with our research. I look forward to your findings. In addition, I will attach our longer email questionnaire for field experts, in case this is helpful for you and your colleagues in understanding what we are investigating. Thanks again! -Rebecca

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  • Doreen
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Dear Rebecca,

I would like to draw your attention to the following blog that might assist you further. It is based on Working group 8: Emergency and reconstruction situations.

The blog collects new developments and innovations about sustainable sanitation in emergencies and reconstruction situations.

Below is the link

susanawg8.wordpress.com/

Specific information about MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research within the blog can be found under the links below

susanawg8.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/susta...aterial-the-makapad/

susanawg8.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/menst...iene-in-emergencies/

I would also like to draw your attention to the policy briefs from the The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)Kenya in our library

www.susana.org/library?search=MHM

I have forwarded your questionnaire and drawn attention to this discussion to the relevant working group contributors.

All the best!

Best regards,

Doreen
Doreen Mbalo

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Policy Advisor in Bonn, Germany
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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  • Doreen
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

This article might also interest you,

UGANDA: Sanitary pads keep girls in school
www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=93291

Best regards,

Doreen
Doreen Mbalo

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Policy Advisor in Bonn, Germany
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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  • richard higgins
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Hello,
I can now send you the finished presentation that I made in Kigali

Richard Higgins,
Agricultural Advisor to SuSan Design
and New Directions Foundation
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Dear Richard,

Do you mean this one here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/july-2011-kigali-no-13

(scrol down to working group 5 presentations until you get to this point:
Total Nutrient Recovery (TNR) in Sanitation to Agriculture (pdf) or (ppt) as well as an updated (pdf)
Howard Higgins, New Directions Foundation, United Kingdom
--> ups, I just noticed that the author is wrong, as it should be Richard Higgins - will correct that ASAP
)

How exactly does this answer the original question posed? Where does your presentation explain aspects of menstrual hygiene management?
Remember that a lot of the commercial pads contain a plastic liner, which - I assume - would NOT be broken down by a composting process.

Very common are the washable cloths, which are not thrown into the toilet in the first place.

Cheers,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Ulm, Germany
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Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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  • richard higgins
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Re: MHM in Humanitarian Settings Research

Dear Elizabeth and All,

The author is correct. It is Howard Higgins, meaning Howard (Sir Albert, 100 years ago)
and Higgins (me, now).

How does this system assist MHM? It means you can put it straight down the toilet. And I did hear at the conference in Kigali that Africa will soon have access to this modern disposable equipment, which means there will be a much bigger problem.
It does not affect the composting process having a plastic liner - like babbies nappies also. Although nappies are rather large and could be collected in a separate container and taken to the compost site - much the same as the PeePoo bags were in Haiti.

Then we compost them for 14 days and then pathogen free. 90 days = optimum fertilizer and at the dehydration stage the plastic liners are screened out, quite safely.

Picture of Howard Higgins Hot Box, installed at Eco School, north London.

Richard Higgins.
sorry, can't attach picture here
see www.sustainableagriculturelondon.co.uk
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