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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2562; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112562

Menstrual Hygiene Management and Waste Disposal in Low and Middle Income Countries—A Review of the Literature

1
Health and the Environment, Biomass Controls, Durham, NC 27701, USA
2
Water Aid India, New Delhi 110029, India
3
Cranfield Water Science Institute, School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
4
RTI International India, New Delhi 110037, India
5
RTI International, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract

Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) has gained some attention and several literature reviews have been published. However, both original papers and reviews tend to focus on absorbent access and use and not on the disposal of menstrual waste. This review aims to fill a gap in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector by bringing a focus specifically on menstrual hygiene safe disposal in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). We reviewed published literature since 2002 on menstrual hygiene with a focus on menstrual waste management and menstrual absorbent disposal in LMIC. Database searches were conducted of both peer reviewed literature and grey literature, in addition to hand searching of references of relevant earlier literature reviews. In total 152 articles and reports were identified and 75 met the inclusion criteria and was included in the final review. Existing polices on MHM was also reviewed with a focus on India and South Africa. The review showed that disposal of menstrual waste is often neglected MHM and sanitation value chains, leading to improper disposal and negative impacts on users, the sanitation systems and the environment. Findings call for further research to gain better understandings of MHM waste streams, disposal behaviors, absorbent materials and waste management technologies to deliver health, safety, mobility and dignity for women and girls. View Full-Text
Keywords: water and sanitation; gender; menstrual hygiene management; menstrual hygiene waste disposal; environmental health; sanitary waste water and sanitation; gender; menstrual hygiene management; menstrual hygiene waste disposal; environmental health; sanitary waste
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Elledge, M.F.; Muralidharan, A.; Parker, A.; Ravndal, K.T.; Siddiqui, M.; Toolaram, A.P.; Woodward, K.P. Menstrual Hygiene Management and Waste Disposal in Low and Middle Income Countries—A Review of the Literature. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2562.

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