Mainstreaming menstrual hygiene management in schools through the play-based approach: lessons learned from Ghana
The study objective was to identify and document the effectiveness of the play-based approach in promoting menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools and share lessons learned. The study used a mix of study approaches including qualitative and quantitative techniques. The writer carried out an exploratory evaluation on the promotion of MHM activities as part of WASH in Schools programmes in 120 public schools in Ghana. Comparison was drawn between 60 schools currently using the play-based approach in promoting MHM, and 60 other schools which are not using the play-based approach. Data were gathered through interview, focus group discussions, observation, and from field level reports over a six month period. The study showed that there is much potential in play-based approaches, which could accelerate and sustain the implementation of MHM in schools. More teachers and school children participate in and demonstrated considerable knowledge and were confident discussing MHM. The play-based activities also served as point of attraction for the primary school children. The study indicated positive attitudes in boys towards menstruating girls and improved personal hygiene among adolescent girls.