World Menstrual Hygiene Day: Cameroon resolute to promote menstrual, sexual and reproductive health.

1 June, 2024

Dear HIFA friends and colleagues

I was excited attending on the 28th May 2024 the very first official celebration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day in #Cameroon. This year the theme was : period-friendly world.The presence during this event of The Minister of Women's empowerment and the family, Professor Abena Ondoa was significant. Equally present were UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF Representatives.

There is a clear relationship between menstrual health and sexual and reproductive health. States of wellbeing all intimately linked to the sexual reproductive organs of the young girl or woman. When the young adolescent girl is knowledgeable about her menstrual, sexual and reproductive health she can be in better relationship with her bodies - which are Never the same in the various menstrual cycles she is experiencing - and others. Moreover, knowledge and understanding of menstrual, sexual and reproductive health can provide the young adolescent girl with valuable information on how to promote and protect her sexual and reproductive health. In this learning and behavioural changes processes, access to reliable and accurate health care information on the one hand about menstrual health including what is a menstrual cycle, what is ovulation and what is menses is critical.

According to Rohatgi Aishwarya and Dash Sambit (2023), 800 million women and girls have their menstrual cycle every month,. Most menstruators have their first period between 10 -16 years. Up to 85 % of women and girls have little , no or false knowledge about menstrual health.

In Cameroon, education about menstrual hygiene is not a basic health service, and in schools and even humanitarian settings. More than 40 % of school girls in a study carried by UN Women (2014), revealed they had missed school at least once due to their experience of menstruation.

The mental health and psychological considerations of the experience of menses implies that women and girls' mental health needs should be prioritised much more because the experience of the menstrual cycle is unique to them.

In her address, during World Menstrual Hygiene Day the Minister of Women Empowerment and the family congratulated the 50 young girls who graduated from their training on the making of recyclable sanitary pads. The need to work towards the creation of a national platform of stakeholders for the management of menstrual hygiene ended her speech.

The question of menstrual hygiene is an important social problem involving health, education, access to water and sanitation, and the respect of women and girls in their specificity.

Warm regards,

Didier Demassosso

HIFA country representative for Cameroon

Assistant secretary general of Cameroons Association of Science Journalists and Health Communicators for the Promotion of Health (AJC-PROSANTE)

HIFA profile: Didier Demassosso is a mental health practitioner, Consultant (WHO , MoPH Cameroon...), Mental health advocate , Youth advocate with 10 years experience in mental health development in Cameroon. He is also a health communicator and educationist. HIFA Country Representative For Cameroon/ HIFA Country Representative of the year 2014 / Regional Coordinator for Africa. He also currently volunteers for the Mental Health Innovation Network Africa as Knowledge Exchange Assistant.

Email: didier.demassosso AT