In May 2018, the UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) convened the inaugural East and Southern Africa Menstrual Health Management (MHM) Symposium.
This was the first time UNFPA in such a visible manner had addressed the issue of menstruation as an integral part of sexual and reproductive health and rights (building on the 1948 WHO definition of ‘health’) and considered the role that UNFPA might play.
The symposium led to the Johannesburg Call to Action: Improving Menstrual Health Management in Africa, with a number of recommendations and commitments. These included the establishment of the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management
(ACMHM). UNFPA ESARO has hosted the ACMHM from September 2018 to date. The Call to Action recommended a follow-up symposium, to be held in May 2021.
A review paper served as a background for the 2018 Symposium. The present rapid review was commissioned to take stock and document progress made in ESA since the 2018 Symposium, including at country level, and with the additional purpose of documenting and assessing the role of the ACMHM.