Menstrual Health Symposium

Johannesburg, South Africa

UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) and partners are to convene the first regional symposium on menstrual health and management in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 28 to 29 May.

The purpose is to strengthen commitment to and build on the latest evidence base, to move from research to action, and to demonstrate innovative, sustainable and scalable models to address the needs of adolescent girls and women.

The expected outcomes of the symposium are as follows:

  • Strengthened policy, programme and financial commitment and consensus among partners on programmatic priorities to address key barriers and challenges related to menstrual health and management in Africa;
  • Launch of a regional coalition on menstrual health and management;
  • Agreement to convene a regional menstrual health and management symposium every two years to report on progress against commitments;
  • A technical report with all proceedings and summary of conclusions and recommendations for strengthened menstrual health and management in Africa.

Maintaining health and hygiene during menstruation is important for women and girls' health, well-being, mobility and dignity. To ensure this, they require access to the information, supplies and facilities needed to manage their menstruation. Yet, in the ESA region many girls and women – especially those who live in poverty-stricken areas or who have been affected by humanitarian emergencies – do not have access to appropriate information or menstrual health and management facilities and products that are effective, affordable and safe to use.

More needs to be done to strengthen high-level commitment, coordination and knowledge sharing. Africa needs effective and innovative approaches to supply chain management and distribution. It also needs the financial resources required to sustain efforts and bring programmes to scale across the continent.

Read more