In Sub-Saharan Africa the mean age at menarche is 13.98 (±1.17) years. At this age, only about 51% of girls had knowledge about menstruation and its management.
To aggravate the problem, only 24.7% of their parents talk to them about menstruation and general body changes.
About 80% of the girls absent themselves from school when they first start experiencing menstruation.
90% of the poor women and girls do not use (off-the-shelf) sanitary pads, but instead improvise with pieces of cloth, paper, among other things which is due to the high cost of imported pads (Makerere University)
Urban–rural disparity in access to sanitary napkins indicated that, 37.1% of urban girls used sanitary napkins while only 1.6% of rural girls used this product.
70% of female students reported difficulties attending class attentively due to menstrual related problems such as pain and fear of sudden menstrual blood leakage
90% of girls say they are embarrassed to show or hang their rags in public.
More than 50% of girls reported to have been absent from school during their last menstruation period. Those who did not use sanitary napkins were more likely to be absent from school.
58% percent of girls reported that their school-performance had declined after they had menarche. In addition, the qualitative study indicated that school-dropout was common among girls who experienced teasing and humiliation by classmates when their clothes were stained with blood as they do not use sanitary napkins.
False beliefs are harmful! Many girls hold beliefs about menstruation as a release of ‘bad blood’, and as an assurance of fecundity. In Uganda’s Bukedea district, the women were not even allowed to tie the animals during menstruation, as it would bring a curse in the home.
About 90% of students reported that their school did not have a separate sanitary facility for females
3% of the girls spoken to admitted to being stigmatized whenever their dresses got soiled and as a result, they opt to stay at home until after their period.
45% of the boys interviewed said that they did not have knowledge on menstruation