Providing menstrual cups and reproductive health education in Kenya
Through funding by Dorcus International – a small charity which has been working with partners in East Africa for the past decade to support the health of women and girls, with a particular focus on menstrual health – MannionDaniels has been working with a community health group in Kakamega, Western Kenya since February 2022 to provide 500 menstrual cups and reproductive health education sessions to schools and community groups in the area.
Monitoring and Evaluation is ongoing but preliminary results suggest over 80% of recipients of the cups are still using them 3 months after initial training. The impact that cups have had on the lives of recipients have included:
– Girls no longer have rashes and infections from using cheap pads and rags for too long
– Girls are comfortable running and jumping on their periods now that they have cups
– Girls do not miss school because of the fear of leaking or smelling
– Women can walk longer distances or ride a motorbike while on their periods now, meaning they can go to the market and take part in more activities outside the home.
– Women are able to save the money they spent on pads for other household finances, including school fees
Menstrual cups help individuals realise their SRHR, reduce plastic waste, increase freedom of movement, save money, and empower individuals. The goal of this project in Kakamega is not only to ensure individuals in the area have the option of using menstrual cups, but to also provide a replicable and scalable model for how menstrual cups can be introduced and the impacts they can have. For such programmes to succeed robust monitoring and evaluation is crucial, including capacity building for individuals around not just menstrual cup training and distribution but the data management and follow up required.
This project is linked to MannionDaniels management of the Menstrual Cup Coalition. For more information on the Coalition, our network and the aims of the broader work please visit www.menstrualcupcoalition.org