Second Training of Trainers on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Kenya empowers officials to champion MHM

  • WSSCC is instrumental in creating a pool of government and partner MHM trainers who support national practitioners  to embrace and integrate human rights  principles of equality and non-discrimination in WASH and beyond and is actively engaging with the government to impact policy
  • Government officials from Kenya and Malawi enthusiastically participated and committed to break the silence around menstruation inside and outside of their homes
  • Breaking the Silence, Managing Menstruation Hygienically and Safe Reuse and Disposal are key components of WSSCC’s MHM trainings

WSSCC, UNICEF and the Government of Kenya co-hosted the second Training of Trainers (ToT) on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Naivasha from 2 to 6 October 2017.

To strategically position the MHM agenda further across the country, the Ministry of Health requested WSSCC to provide training to officials from the 24 counties who were not part of WSSCC’s first training session held in 2016.  The five-day training empowered a large group of over 80 officials from various ministries in Kenya and Malawi with knowledge and skills on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). Comprising facilitation exercises, group work and dialogue on gendered social norms, the training covered the three key elements of WSSCC’s approach to MHM: Breaking the Silence, Managing Menstruation Hygienically, and Safe reuse and Disposal.

Public health officers, representatives of people with disabilities including MHM trainer Patricia Mulongo, who advocates for people with disabilities, the First Lady of Kwale County, H.E Christine Mvurya and First Lady of Nakuru County, H.E Elizabeth Kinyanjui were enthusiastic participants. County First ladies in Kenya are championing MHM across the country by mobilizing communities.

“I am so excited to be at the MHM ToT training. I can't wait to be an MHM champion after the training,” said participant Marygorret Museau, on the dedicated Twitter Feed for the training.

A significant breakthrough happened when Dr. Kepha Ombacho, Director of Public Health at the Ministry of Health, took part of the MHM lab exercise to address menstruation openly and transform it into a matter of pride.

“There was a mix of reservation, curiosity, enthusiasm and interest at the beginning of the workshop that created lively discussions and brought various dimensions of MHM and the challenges prevalent at the local level,” said Unjela Kaleem WSSCC’s Head External Affairs, Stakeholder Engagement, Communications and Country Support.

Those who participated in the workshop have been enabled to support future initiatives and take the training to their fellow officers and also disseminate what has been learnt to the Sub-county, Ward, Village and household levels.  Another ToT will be organized in the future to reach all counties.

“Demand is bigger than what we had hoped for and we are so grateful for the increased level of commitment from participants and from the government of Kenya,” said Ms. Virginia Kamowa, Senior Technical Officer from WSSCC who oversees the MHM Training portfolio in East and Southern Africa.

WSSCC has been providing technical support to the Kenyan government to develop an MHM policy for the country.  This is in the process of finalization by government.