Adolescent Menstrual Issues, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Education

The situation regarding poor menstruation knowledge and hygiene practices amongst vulnerable school students is extreme, but sadly not unique in Nigeria. A case study of an interview with a school girl said, “I have dressed up to go to school and wanted to ease myself when I saw blood dropping from my vagina. I screamed, immediately my mother rushed out and attended to me, I did not went to school that day, I thought something bad have happened to me”. A structured survey on the impact of pre-menarche training on menstrual hygiene practice of Nigeria schools girls aged 10 to 19 years observed low pre-menarche training and inappropriate menarche experience, adverse effects of menstruation on schooling, social life and the usage of unhygienic menstrual absorbents among the vulnerable school girls who had no pre-menarche training. A study on menstrual knowledge and practice among a random sample of secondary school girls in Ile Ife, Nigeria, further observed deficiencies in menstruation knowledge, with some level of menstrual ignorance and poor psychological preparedness for the menses. There is a wide knowledge gap among vulnerable school girls on menstruation and routine hand washing. The ignorance, inaccurate and false information about menstrual education increases the unnecessarily social, emotional, physical and psychological trauma a girl child may encounter. The goal of the project is to promote accurate menstrual information and alleviate menarche fear, preparing pre-menarche girls psychologically and emotionally, and educating adolescent girls, “breaking the silence on menstruation”. We will provide psychological support to school girls and teachers in order to understand pre-menarche. We will also organise role-play and focus group discussions on the roles of boys and men to support girls, their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters in managing their menstruation in safety, privacy and with respect and dignity.

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