News and Stories - Health - 29th May 2015

Menstrual Hygiene

Menstrual Hygiene

Pads, knowledge and confidence: keeping teenage girls in school

Many girls miss four or five days of school when they get their period each month and fall behind in their learning. Eventually many of these girls (1 in 10 in Uganda) drop out of school entirely, increasing their likelihood of pregnancy and early marriage, while limiting their future career and economic opportunities.

What is Plan doing?

Plan is influencing change throughout communities. This involves:

  • Working in schools with teachers, students and school health clubs to improve their knowledge and attitudes around reproductive health and how girls can manage their periods.
  • Making AfriPads accessible to girls. AfriPads are reusable and affordable sanitary pads, which girls can use instead of alternatives like newspaper or scraps of old clothes. They are made locally and ethically in Uganda.

women sewing sanitary items

Quick facts:

  • Many girls miss out on school when they get their period. 1 in 10 drop out of school altogether.
  • Girls without access to education about their period often believe myths related to periods. For example, if you walk past a crop while menstruating it will die. Or having sex will cure period pain.
  • Girls without access to sanitary products are resorting to alternatives like old leaves, wads of newspaper or old leaves.
  • Plan is working in developing countries to help girls understand what is happening to their bodies when they menstruate, and improve accessibility to AfriPads.

You can support projects like this by creating Change for Girls or making a one-off donation to Plan.

boys taught about periods and sanitary items

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