The menstrual health programme sponsored by NMSI, A Child Unheard (ACU) and Ruby Cup has started to be implemented through the ACU school in Ayenyah, in conjunction with the NMSI-supported Community Health Planning Clinic.
On 21 October an engagement session was held with the Chief and Elders of the local community to introduce the benefits of using a menstrual cup. This session was an opportunity to introduce the Ruby menstrual cup, as well as incorporate some basic menstrual health education. Sister Gracelove, from the Ayenyah Community Health Clinic, led the session which resulted in full engagement and support for the programme.
The first training session was held on 24 October with the teachers of the ACU School and the community health nurses, who will become the support and contact personnel for the girls going forward.
Studies have shown that girls can miss up to 20% of their schooling because they stay at home during a menstrual cycle. This absenteeism can cause some girls to drop out of school entirely, so it is hoped that this programme will improve the girls’ health and understanding of their menstrual cycle, in turn helping improve school attendance.
In total 25 pupils at the school, 8 teachers, 3 nurses and 37 women from the community will receive education and
training. This training will cover an introduction to the Ruby menstrual cup, how to use it and keep it clean and
hygienic, as well as basic reproductive health education.