Workshop on adolescent menstrual experiences held

A cohort research is being conducted by WaterAid Bangladesh, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, Nabolok, and Burnet Institute titled “The Adolescent Menstrual Experiences and Health Cohort (AMEHC)”. In collaboration and assistance of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), A workshop was held on 25 June at CIRDAP, with the aim to inform the stakeholders regarding the objective and process of the project and identify their roles and potential areas for collaboration.

Menstruation has been gaining wide attention in policy and practice. Despite availability of qualitative research on menstruation-related challenges, stronger data and evidence are required to better understand menstrual health impacts on girls’ health and social outcomes. The Adolescent Menstrual Experiences and Health Cohort (AMEHC) study focused on identifying the changing menstrual health requirements over a period of time. The goal of the study was to provide rigorous estimates of the impacts of unmet menstrual health needs for girls and its correlation to education.

One of the key objectives of the study was to understand the influences of different menstrual health-related challenges on the girls’ physical and mental wellbeing. Regarding the research, special guest of the workshop, Hasin Jahan, Country Director of WaterAid Bangladesh, said, “Girls face many challenges because of improper management of menstruation related to their physical, mental, social or even academic performance. The Adolescent Menstrual Experiences and Health Cohort study focused on comprehending the impacts of the many kinds of menstruation related challenges in the lives of girls. AMEHC is working on gathering the evidence on menstrual needs of adolescents and the trend over time through a cohort study. Through this research project, we will get data driven guidance to improve in specific areas of menstrual hygiene management.”

Insights from this study will significantly help the Bangladesh government and other nongovernmental organisations to adopt age-appropriate education for girls and programs to benefit adolescent wellbeing.

In his speech as chair of the workshop, Prof Nehal Ahmed, Director General, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), said, “Hopefully through this cohort study, menstrual hygiene management practice will be enhanced specially for adolescent girls in climate vulnerable areas.”

Chief guest Md Belayet Hossain Talukdar, Additional Secretary (Development), Secondary and Higher Education Division, Education Ministry, said, “I am very hopeful that the study findings from this project will help the government to form new policies to address the existing challenges in menstrual hygiene management.”