Launch of MHM research results in Yaounde, Cameroon

Date: 31st January 2016

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Credit: UN Women/H. Joseph

Credit: UN Women/H. Joseph

In November 2015, UN Women and WSSCC launched the results of a study on menstrual hygiene in Yaounde, Cameroon at an event attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic community and civil society organizations. Titled “Menstrual Hygiene Management: Behaviour and Practices in Kye-Ossi and Bamoungoum, Cameroon”, the study is the third in a series by WSSCC and UN Women under the Joint Programme. Conducted in 2014, in two regions with very different socio-cultural profiles: Kye- Ossi in the south, and Bamoungoum in the west, the study analyses the current state of menstrual hygiene management practices and behavior, and related infrastructure and public policies in the WASH sector.

Key findings include:

  • A low level of knowledge of menstrual hygiene management in both schools and general settings suggesting inadequate or insufficient provision of information about menstruation and menstrual hygiene within and outside the education system.
  • Poor maintenance of sanitation facilities and sporadic use by girls. Although the majority of schools in the study had latrines, their poor maintenance results in sporadic use by girls, particularly during menstruation.
  • Absence of working public toilets for women. More than one-fifth of working women reduce their activities during menstruation, largely due to concerns about the lack of public toilets.
  • Environmental hazard of sanitary waste. Sanitary materials are mostly disposed of in latrines or toilets posing a risk for the environment and maintenance of the latrines/toilets.

As well as publicizing the results of the study, the launch event also presented an initial opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of issues related to menstrual hygiene management in Cameroon’s national agenda at policy, planning and community levels. The launch of the study findings was reported in print and online media, including Allafrica.com  and Cameroon Concord.

For more information, download the WSSCC & UN Women study “Menstrual Hygiene Management: Behaviour and Practices in Kye-Ossi and Bamoungoum, Cameroon”.

To find out more about the WSSCC & UN Women Joint Programme on Gender, Sanitation and Hygiene, download the latest information letter.

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