Reggie Gaskins



Urban Suburban Magazine - Education

Contribution Toward Hygiene Promotion and Reproductive Health in Kenya

by Imbako Public Health

The period of adolescence exposes the individual to unique biological, physical and social challenges. Focusing on the female adolescent, we learn that the onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. However, in resource poor settings, the complications and factors that accompany menstruation in young women have been understudied. The conclusion of several studies on reproductive health in resource poor settings is that further research on menstrual management options that are practical, sustainable and culturally acceptable must be conducted to inform future programs and policies that aim to empower young girls as they transition into womanhood. Studies also propose that stakeholders must consider systematic mechanisms to explain to young girls what menstruation is and how to manage it. Providing sanitary supplies or guiding girls on how to create supplies serve as critical components for future interventions. Imbako Public Health, by undertaking this project in reproductive health, will contribute towards this issue of menstruation management and reproductive health of the adolescent in rural Kenya.

In February, 2013, Imbako Public Health commenced a reproductive health research project on menstruation management of adolescents resident in rural Kenya. The goals of the project were to: (1) analyze the current awareness of biological development and reproductive health, (2) evaluate the issue of hygiene, sanitation and adequacy of menstruation product accessibility and affordability, (3) introduce and investigate the use of re-usable cloth sanitary pads. To commence the project, Imbako organized a three day workshop in Kitale, Kenya titled “A hygiene promotion & reproductive health workshop”. The workshop participants were taught about reproductive health in an age appropriate environment, and trained on how to create re-usable cloth sanitary pads to be used towards their monthly periods. Surveys and data collection were built into the program conducted during these workshops. The workshop which ran from Wednesday February 6th to Friday February 8th enabled the delivery of a series of sessions to various cadres of community members. Over 250 students, community health workers, midwives and community members were educated through the workshop.
The goal is to develop this project in collaboration with students, and the local community of Kitale, to design a re-usable hygienic and eco-friendly cloth sanitary pad that would be eventually sold in resource poor settings.

Established in 2008, Imbako public health is an organization that works to allay disparities in healthcare, education and community faced by vulnerable communities in rural Kenya. Imbako has a team of able professionals, who are competent to deliver the healthcare, technical, logistical and financial aspects of the various organizations’ projects.

To learn more about Imbako Public Health and how you can be a part of the organizations project, please visit mbako is also on twitter as @imbakoph and on facebook as Imbako public health.


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