Adolescent girls are absent from class during their menstrual cycle due to lack of hygienic conditions

By Mabel Calero, La Prensa, 31 August 2017 (translated from Spanish by Google Translate)

"The shortage of sanitation and drinking water in rural areas causes a problem that goes unnoticed and is that teenage girls during their period of menstruation are absent from classes because they have no place to go to change," said Rosa Angélica Sáenz, Engineering Development Program (Ongawa), in Nicaragua.

"According to a diagnosis that we have made with the rural schools we can see that there are a number of myths and beliefs linked to this issue. We even see that many girls suffer from bullying when their classmates realize that they are going through their period, for that one of the results reveals that more girls are absent, first because they are afraid that they will pass blood on their clothes and make fun of it and second because there are no conditions in schools, "explains Sáenz.

Attention is required

The World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that the health of adolescent girls needs to be maintained, which requires a broad response in society and primarily in the health sector.

Sáenz reveals that there are many challenges in the practice of menstrual hygiene from the point of view of adolescent girls, teachers, classmates and mothers.

"This is linked to sociocultural factors of rural communities and schools, lack of training in menstrual hygiene management, biological understanding of menstruation, inadequate school facilities and limited access to sanitary napkins," she said. Sáenz.

Misleading information

He emphasized that menstraul education at home can be misleading, because the mothers when they find out that their menstruous daughter say to her: 'when you bathe you do not wash your intimate parts because ice can enter and then that will cause you pain,' which we know as menstrual cramps, or they tell you not to approach children because they can become pregnant; all of those are myths that affect girls. "

Sanitation and hygiene

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that access to water, sanitation and hygiene services could prevent many people from suffering from diseases.

The WHO estimates that the lack of sanitation contributes to expenses of 260 billion dollars per year for deaths, illness and loss of productivity.

It also estimates that 1.8 billion people use water sources contaminated with faeces because of open defecation and that 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. "

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