This campaign is aimed at enhancing knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to menstrual hygiene and at making menstrual hygiene management a public health policy priority and generate commitment on the part of the authorities and leaders at all levels of Senegalese society.
In July 2017, SUA conducted a quantitative and qualitative study using a representative sample of 1,670 people in order to measure knowledge, attitudes and practices pertaining to menstrual hygiene management (MHM). The purpose of the study was to assess the level of knowledge, and identify various menstrual hygiene management practices and behaviors and their impact on the living conditions of women and girls. The study highlighted the fact that girls’ lack of access to clean and safe toilets during their periods perpetuated shame and fear. This has a tremendous and far-reaching long-term impact on women’s health, education and living conditions.
In collaboration with the health district, SUA has decided to go beyond community health workers and involve neighborhood godmothers as well as youth and women’s associations in various activities in order to maximize the reach of the campaign. In 2017, 11,200 people were reached.
In August 2017, Speak Up Africa was invited to participate in the National Girls’ Camp organized by the Office of the First Lady of Sierra Leone, her Excellency Sia Nyama Koroma, in order to facilitate a workshop on menstrual hygiene management. During this interactive workshop, dialogues took place with the 100 girls in attendance to learn about their perceptions and attitudes regarding menstrual hygiene management. We also distributed kits including reusable sanitary pads produced by ApiAfrique and communication materials presenting key MHM messages.