Farhana Sultana of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh will develop and test an approach to bring together all members of a community to improve the health of menstruating girls and motivate them to attend school. Many girls in low-income countries avoid going to school when they are on their period because of poor facilities, lack of sanitation products and support, and social marginalization, which severely affects overall academic performance. In Bangladesh, menstrual hygiene education is limited and generally targets 14-15 year olds, so most girls are unaware of what happens until they actually start their periods. They will test their approach with one-month trials at a range of schools by providing low-cost and safe products and disposal bins, and training and supporting teachers to educate all school children on adolescent health and the effects of puberty. They will also engage parents, school management committees, and local and regional governing bodies to maintain the facilities, and develop girl-friendly school policies.
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