Menstrual Hygiene Management: a supply chain challenge challenges-chat

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) remains an underserved area across all regions. An estimated 800 million women are in the menstruating age group according to the nationally representative household survey conducted in 58 out of 82 developing countries.  

Menstrual Hygiene Management: a supply chain challenge


Focus Area: , ,


In recent years there are attempts to respond to the needs of menstruating women both in emergencies and in schools to potentially increase female participation. The biggest challenges however are not limited to lack of data, limited knowledge of culturally acceptable products, availability, and affordability but include areas like availability of water, separate washing areas for girls at schools and in emergency camps, privacy, security and safe disposal.

Emergency MHM:

Hygiene kits are an integral part of emergency stock list for providing rapid response for the first 72 hours after an emergency. Supply Division provided more than 230,000 kits in 2010 which include sanitary pads, for various emergencies worldwide. 

The current kit on the supply catalogue can be found here

School MHM:

With the onset of puberty, adolescent girls face the embarrassment of menstruation in schools where toilets are unclean, have no doors, and are shared with the boys in their class. This is often caused by the lack of running water, safe sanitation, and consumables, such as sanitary pads. Girls are losing out on their education because they do not have the means and/or access to hygiene products that will enable them to be comfortable enough to attend school.


Our challenge is to find culturally specific, Fit for Purpose items for MHM in emergency response and School MHM.

Distribution in emergency and timely replenishment

Sustainability and long term affordability of MHM items.

Availability of water/soap for cleaning, space for drying

Disposal and environmental impact

Do you have any suggestions for suitable items that we can add to our kits? Please share your experiences and knowledge in this area; we look forward to the conversations that will follow.