In Madagascar, almost 40% of the population is under 15 years old, and almost 60% under 25 years old. The fertility index (average number of children per woman) is equal to 5 children per woman. Thus, Madagascar has one of the highest population growth rates in the world.
Induced abortion (or voluntary termination of pregnancy) is the first cause of maternal mortality.
In Vohitrarivo, many young girls do not finish their primary education because of an unwanted pregnancy.
Most of them have never received sex education or even information about menstruation before the arrival of their first period, which was often experienced as a traumatic event.
Old rags or leaves can be used as sanitary napkins.
The contraceptive injection, which causes significant side effects, is the method of contraception used by women (and sometimes young girls) in the rural commune of Tsaratanana.
Our first mother-daughter workshop on the menstrual cycle and hygiene was organized in January 2022 in Vohitrarivo with the help of Impact Madagascar as part of a partnership with the Rotary Club Paris Est.
35 mothers and their daughters aged 11 to 60 took part in this workshop during which various themes were discussed:
Individual or small group interviews were previously conducted in the village with the women to determine their knowledge on the subject.
Questions were asked after the workshop to the participants to assess their knowledge.
The workshop format has been acclaimed by the participants who appreciated being able to talk to each other, the older ones sharing their experience with the younger ones who felt more confident to ask questions on an intimate subject that is not always easy to approach.
The workshop © Impact Madagascar
All participants agree that it is essential that every adolescent girl receive sex education.
All of them acquired new knowledge, in particular about the menstrual cycle, the use of adapted sanitary napkins, pregnancy, etc.
At the end of the workshop, they received soap and cotton sanitary napkins made by the embroiderers of the artisanal embroidery project.
The aim of this workshop is to improve the lives and health of women, but also to prevent teenage pregnancies. These are in fact the cause of sometimes serious health problems (which can lead to death) and the school failure of many adolescent girls.
Thus one of the slogans of the workshop is: « women who thrive, are responsible for their health, take care of their future and their children »
Slogan of the workshop © Impact Madagascar
This workshop, to which our educator is trained, will be organized for all our partner villages.
A father-son workshop should also be created soon.
Source : Impact Madagascar