Advocacy efforts in the awareness of endometriosis have borne fruit after an announcement by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development(KICD)that menstrual disorders (MD) education will now be included in the Competency-Based Curriculum(CBC).
The move comes as a result of a partnership between EndoSisters EA Foundation and the Standard Group PLC through the Great Places to School Initiative to make an impact in the lives of school-going girls in Kenya on matters menstrual health. They then roped in KICD through a workshop to bridge gaps in the curriculum on menstrual issues.
According to EndoSisters Director Doris Murimi, the decision to include the pertinent issue in the curriculum is a milestone that will go a long way in ensuring that adolescent girls will be educated on menstrual health disorders and learn to cultivate treatment-seeking behaviour while boys will be informed and learn to be supportive and help in removing stigma as well as demystify the issue. Furthermore, teachers and parents would learn to be positively responsive to issues of menstruation.
Speaking to Parents, Doris added, "I am genuinely so happy about this progress. It is really fundamental and changes the way menstrual issues will be dealt with from the education standpoint. It is a celebration for all of us and especially our daughters, nieces and younger sisters."
Her sentiments were further echoed by EndoSisters EA Foundation Board Chaiperson, Dr Atunga Nyachieo who emphasized on the importance of menstrual hygiene and disorders inclusion in the curriculum as it is the number one cause of absenteeism in schools for girls.
Prof. Charles Ongondo, the CEO of KICD, also noted that education on menstrual disorders fits directly into the competences of Competency- Based Curriculum and acknowledged the need for increased awareness.
Additionally, Ms. Grace Ngugi, the Deputy Director – Special Programmes at KICD, who is spearheading the mainstreaming of Menstrual Disorders Education into the Curriculum, confirmed that it will be incorporated into each of the six broad areas of pertinent and contemporary issues namely: Citizenship; Health Promotion Issues; Life Skills and Values Education; Social Economic Issues, Parental Empowerment and Engagement, Non-formal Programs and Special Needs Education.
The announcement comes slightly over a year after a 14-year-old female student in Bomet County committed suicide after being humiliated by her teacher for soiling her dress.
Featured Image: Ms. Doris Murimi, Director of Endo Sisters EA Foundation makes her presentation during the workshop. Photo: The Standard.