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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 31, Issue 3


Reducing barriers to primary school education for girls in rural Kenya: reusable pads’ intervention

Winnie Mucherah
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Educational Psychology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA, Phone: +(765) 285-8514, Fax: +(765) 285-3653
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Kendra Thomas
Published Online: 2017-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0005



The current study explored girls’ perceptions of the impact of sanitary pads’ intervention on their school attendance and grades.


Participants included 150 girls in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade in two rural schools in Kenya. Participants completed a questionnaire on menstrual health issues and the perceived impact on school attendance and academic performance.


Results indicated that of all participants (150), those who had passed menarche and had cloth pads had similar comfort levels at school as those who had not yet had their period. Of those who had reached menarche (with pads n = 34, without pads n = 91), they answered questions about how much their period interfered with their attendance and grades. Those who had received the pads reported significantly less negative influence on their attendance and schoolwork than those who did not have pads. They also reported significantly lower levels of wanting to hide their menstrual cycle from friends and family. In addition, they reported significantly higher levels of comfort at home and school than those who did not have pads. Finally, those with pads reported significantly lower levels of fear during their period.


These findings suggest providing girls with pads minimizes the barriers to successful schooling.

Keywords: grades; menstruation; puberty; rural Kenya; school attendance

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About the article

Received: 2017-01-05

Accepted: 2017-02-21

Published Online: 2017-06-17

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 31, Issue 3, 20170005, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0005.

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