The onset of menstruation presents multiple challenges for schoolgirls. Many girls lack the knowledge, support and resources to manage menstruation in school. This project aims to understand the scope of education and health challenges faced by girls in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Findings will inform strategies that mitigate challenges and appropriately support adolescent girls at school during menstruation.
Data were collected in rural communities in the municipalities of Tacopaya and Independencia of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Methods included an in-country desk review of research, policy and practice related to menstrual hygiene management (MHM); focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with girls; focus group discussions with mothers, boys and teachers; and key informant interviews with teachers, health professionals and school administrators. Structured observations of school water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities were performed at 10 schools. Findings focus on the challenges surrounding menstrual hygiene practices from the perspectives of schoolgirls, teachers, male classmates and mothers.