UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) and partners are to convene the first regional symposium on menstrual health and management.

The purpose is to strengthen commitment and build on the latest evidence base, to move from research to action, and to demonstrate innovative, sustainable and scalable models to address the needs of adolescent girls and women.

The expected outcomes of the symposium are as follows:

  • Strengthened policy, programme and financial commitment and consensus among partners on programmatic priorities to address key barriers and challenges related to menstrual health and management in Africa;
  • Launch of a regional coalition on menstrual health and management;
  • Agreement to convene a regional menstrual health and management symposium every two years to report on progress against commitments;
  • A technical report with all proceedings and summary of conclusions and recommendations for strengthened menstrual health and management in Africa.


The two-day symposium is expected to bring together 200-300 representatives from the African Union and Regional Economic Communities, national governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), donors, United Nations agencies, private sector organizations, youth led organizations and social entrepreneurs from across the relevant sectors, including WASH, education, gender, sexual and reproductive health, and adolescent development.

Symposium structure

The symposium will provide a space to learn about new evidence on menstrual health management and share good practices as well as what works and does not within the African context. The symposium will be conducted with a mix of high-level plenaries and keynote speakers, plenary discussions on key thematic areas with experts in the field presenting on new trends and what works and doesn’t, and concurrent sessions to ensure detailed discussions and knowledge sharing on relevant topics. Exhibition boots to showcase programme materials will also be available.

The symposium is also a potential avenue for networking with sister organizations and establishing alliances to strengthen advocacy efforts towards advancing menstrual health management and leaving no one behind. All participants, therefore, are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to engage as effectively as possible and network with relevant organizations.

Date and venue

The symposium will take place on 28 and 29 May (International Menstrual Hygiene Day), 2018 at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Find out more about the programme, speakers and partners on the


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