The Ministry of Environment and Water, in close coordination with the Ministry of Education, created the National Sanitary Education Program in 2010. Programme components focus on water saving, safe water consumption, waterborne diseases, safe sanitation conditions, waste management and hygiene promotion in schools.
Current education and health policies do not yet specifically address menstrual hygiene. The Ministry of Environment and Water, in close coordination with the Ministry of Education, created the National Sanitary Education Program in 2010. Programme components focus on water saving, safe water consumption, waterborne diseases, safe sanitation conditions, waste management and hygiene promotion in schools.
There is tremendous energy at the national level for improving WASH, but no policies, budgets or standards are currently in place to guide and support menstrual hygiene management.
UNICEF currently works with the Ministry of Environment and Water and the National Service for Sustainability of Basic Sanitation Services (SENASBA) to strengthen capacities among Community Development Managers (Técnicos DESCOM), with specific attention to rural areas and communities with small populations.
Other organizations involved in WASH in Schools issues in Bolivia include: UNICEF; the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) PROAPAC (cooperation programme for water and sanitation in small and medium cities); Programa de Agua y Saneamiento del Banco Mundial (PAS/BM, World Bank); World Vision; Federación de Asociaciones Municipales de Bolivia (Federation of Municipal Associations of Bolivia); Save the Children; El Centro Boliviano de Investigación y Acción Educativas (Bolivian Centre for Educational Research and Action); Autoridad de Fiscalización y Control Social de Agua Potable y Saneamiento Básico (Regulatory Authority and Social Control of Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation); and Fundación SODIS.
The Ministry of Education is currently updating the national curriculum. The draft curriculum includes responsible sexuality, the elimination of patriarchal gender relationships and community hygiene to prevent endemic diseases. Although menstruation is not yet specifically mentioned, menstruation and menstrual hygiene management could be included within these curriculum topics. The Ministry of Education has developed an educational web portal called ‘educabolivia’ that provides resources to help teachers with materials and lesson plans. Detailed biological explanations of menstruation are available online from Asociación Española para la Cultura, el Arte y la Educación (Spanish Association for Culture, Art and Education) via educabolivia. But accessing this information is a challenge for teachers working in rural areas.
The overview was compiled based on information from WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education - Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2014.