Access to education is important, not only for the well being of adolescents, but for the future economic activity of women. Maternal and child health are strongly associated with mothers’ educational levels. The farther a woman can go in school, the more of her children will survive and the healthier they will be.
One recognized barrier to school attendance for girls is the onset of menstruation and the difficulties that girls have with a lack of available and affordable sanitary hygiene products. Menstrual cramps can also interfere with school attendance and performance.
GHP has launched a project to provide sanitary products (washable, reusable sanitary pads) and medication to treat menstrual symptoms to girls in 15 schools surrounding the Kisesini Clinic. Puberty education is a keystone to this project.
The impact of this project will be evaluated in a study conducted by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Grades and attendance will be used to evaluate school performance. The study will be completed in December, 2015. At that point we hope to have enough sanitary hygiene products and medication to include even more girls in more primary schools.