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Classified in: Health
Subjects: SVY, WOM, DEI

Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute: Priority List Provides Governments with New Tool To Monitor and Improve Adolescent Menstrual Health and Hygiene

MADISON, N.J. , Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers have developed a priority list of indicators to improve the monitoring of the menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) of adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Adolescent MHH is considered essential to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals ? including goal 5 of gender equality, and this priority list can provide guidance for governments to improve MHH, the researchers say.

"Despite the importance of menstrual health and hygiene for adolescent girls' health, education, and gender equality, few countries monitor MHH. MHH needs remain under-prioritized, and progress achieved through policies, programs, or investments go unmeasured," states the article, "Indicators for National and Global Monitoring of Girls' Menstrual Health and Hygiene: Development of a Priority Shortlist," published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The priority list includes 21 indicators  including access to menstrual educational materials; the availability of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities; and policies.

"This priority list was developed to improve the monitoring of adolescent menstrual health and hygiene globally," said lead author Dr. Julie Hennegan, Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI) fellow and senior research fellow at the Burnet Institute, an Australian-based medical research institute, where she also serves as co-head of the its Global Adolescent Health Working Group. "The list offers specific indicators for governments to start monitoring. Without data, girls' MHH needs remain invisible, and governments are unable to track progress when they do make investments to support MHH." 

"The issue of menstrual health and hygiene needs a lot more attention than it is getting. It's an extremely important issue affecting million and millions of adolescent girls around the world. We must do a better job of improving the lives of these adolescents," said David Wheeler, acting director of RGHI, which provides funding to Hennegan via the RGHI Fellowship program. RGHI bridges epidemiology, public health, and behavioral insights to generate practical scientific research that promotes behavior change that saves lives.

This work was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Authors:  Julie Hennegan, D.Phil.a,b, Bethany A. Caruso, Ph.D.c, Garazi Zulaika, Ph.D.d, Belen Torondel, Ph.D.e, Jacquelyn Haver, M.P.H.f, Penelope A. Phillips-Howard, Ph.D.d, Jonathan Valdez, B.E f, Caitlin Gruer, M.P.H.g, Neville Okwaro, M.Sc.h, Therese Mahon, M.Sc.i,, and Marni Sommer, Dr.P.H.g,*


a Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

b Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

c Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

d Department of Clinical Sciences, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom

e Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

f Department of Education and Child Protection, School Health and Nutrition Program, Save the Children US, Washington, District of Columbia

g Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York

h Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

i International Programmes Department, WaterAid, London, United Kingdom


SOURCE Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute

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