A path to a strong cross-sectoral response


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The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Human Reproduction Program (HRP) have worked to bring menstruation onto the global health agenda as a result of a strategic approach to build research on the needs and demands of adolescent girls.

“Thanks to WHO’s dedicated and ongoing work, this Menstrual Hygiene Day we are celebrating the progress made by the health sector in meeting the information and service needs of young people,” said Dr. Venkatraman Chandra Muli, HRP and WHO scientist. . “WHO is committed to a strong health sector response to the broader issues of menstruation.”

Commitment to health

Recently in collaboration with UNFPA, UNICEF, UNESCO, Global Menstrual Health Cluster and Columbia University, WHO and HRP It promises menstrual health to the Water action agenda In the year At the UN Water Summit in March 2023, to recommend that countries include promotive, preventive and curative health services as well as adequate water supply and sanitation in national universal health coverage policies and strategies.

This was a logical follow-up to the call to action and commitment by WHO and HRP at the Human Rights Council in 2022: WHO Declaration on Menstrual Health and Rights. A decade and a half of additional work on adolescent menstrual health has provided the basis and starting point for these mandates.

Learning from youth and highlighting experiences

Research It shows that adolescent girls are unprepared and unprepared for menstruation, leading to a sense of isolation and shame. This common lack of knowledge becomes a barrier to learning and negatively affects self-confidence and personal development. This understanding has developed five action points for the World Health Organization’s work on menstrual health.

  • Teach girls about menstruation.
  • Create rules that treat menstruation as healthy and positive.
  • Improve hygiene products, running water, functional toilets and privacy.
  • Improve the care and support provided by girls’ families.
  • Improve access to qualified and caring health professionals.

A Research paper After the International Conference on Population and Development, they reviewed the results achieved in 25 years in low- and middle-income countries and helped to share their experience of the obstacles girls and women are facing in managing their periods. In addition, efforts to reduce gender inequality, child marriage rates, and teen pregnancy have heightened the importance of menstrual health.

Prepare equipment for health workers and caregivers

Responding to the needs and demands of young people, HRP and WHO have developed Table reference tools For health workers to provide effective and emotional care and support at primary level to young people and their caregivers, answering questions about menstruation-related pain, irregular and more.

Alongside the desk reference tools, HRP and WHO, together with UN partners, are working on Adolescent Education through International technical guide on sexuality education. This section (6.3) includes menstrual health education for all adolescents, conveying the main idea that menstruation is a normal and natural part of physical development and should not be treated as a secret and stigma.

Landscaping for the future

To use the term menstrual health rather than menstrual hygiene, we are working with many partners to bring menstrual health into the global health agenda. A consistent, independent definition Prepared by the Terminological Group of the International Periodical Collection.

HRP and WHO also worked with partners. Review the field of menstrual health What it takes to map the next ten years and achieve a vision of health for all. In the review, the multifaceted nature of menstrual health was explored and it was pointed out that the World Health Organization has a role in strengthening the response of the health sector.

Finally, the promotion, prevention and curative health services WHO Service Collection It takes full advantage of the Universal Health Coverage Movement to include menstrual health in the Ministry of Health’s activities.

Bringing Menstruation to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender, Education and Human Factors continues ahead of Menstrual Health Day (May 28) at the African Menstrual Health Symposium: Achieving Menstrual Justice through a Grassroots and Multidisciplinary Approach from May 24-25. Hosted by African Union for Menstrual Health Management.


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