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THE NIA PROJECT

ZanaAfrica, in collaboration with The Population Council, is testing approaches to determine whether access to sanitary pads and reproductive health education helps keep girls in school and improves social and health outcomes.

THE ISSUE

For many adolescent girls around the world, puberty is a vulnerable time when they face various pressures and challenges—including sexual harassment, abuse, early marriage, and unintended pregnancy—which threaten their health and well-being.  These challenges are amplified when girls lack the knowledge and tools they need to navigate puberty safely and with dignity.

In Kenya, girls drop out of school at a higher rate than boys beginning at puberty, and many do not have access to reliable reproductive health education as they enter adolescence. Access to menstrual hygiene products and sexual and reproductive health education is thought to help reduce school absence and improve health and social outcomes, however, little rigorous evidence exists to date.

THE PROGRESS