Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa

Glob Health Promot. 2019 Mar;26(1):105-108. doi: 10.1177/1757975917694597. Epub 2017 May 9.


Menstruation is a delicate physiological process through which a shedding of uterine lining occurs each month in females of reproductive age. Often considered a taboo subject, menstruation is seldom openly discussed in developing parts of the world. This article explores menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in sub-Saharan Africa and emphasizes the urgent and neglected need for feasible solutions, especially among adolescent girls. Optimizing menstrual hygiene interventions will require an integration of both knowledge and skill training gained through education on MHM alongside an improvement of access to girl-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in addition to access to low-cost hygienic sanitary products. To facilitate the identification and implementation of feasible and cultural relevant programs we recommend the utilization of public health intervention research.

Keywords: adolescence; empowerment; health education; hygiene; interventions; menstruation; school absenteeism; sub-Saharan Africa.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Female
  • Feminine Hygiene Products / supply & distribution*
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Hygiene / standards*
  • Menstruation*
  • Public Health
  • Sanitation / standards*