BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
MENSTRUATION has offered multiple challenges for girls in schools across Solomon Islands that don’t have proper WASH facilities available for students, it is reported.
This is according to a study on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in schools in the country.
These setbacks include lack of water and adequate ablution facilities, barriers to accessing absorbent materials, inaccurate information on menstruation and menstrual hygiene, besides cultural barriers.
The report spells out that the impact of these setbacks lead to absenteeism, feelings of shame or embarrassment, and lack of concentration and reduced participation in class for girls.
It furthers, girls and their teachers in schools have identified the elements of lessening these menstruation-related challenges and some of these include quality of school WASH facilities, availability of hygiene materials, access to accurate information about menstruation and support from school managers and teachers.
Based on the identified barriers, recommendations include improving of school policies, facilities and resources available for girls to manage menstruation at schools, give girls knowledge and skills to maintain their menstrual hygiene safely and effectively at school and improving of national policies and monitoring of MHM in schools.