By Alice Lubwama
Uganda will join the rest of the world on 28th of May, to commemorate the international menstrual hygiene day , the founder of So sure reusable sanitary towels in Uganda Sophia Grinvaids has asked Government to support adolescent girls especially those in rural schools to access reusable sanitary pads because there safe and cost friendly.
Grinvaids says it should be everyone’s responsibility to help the girls manage their menstrual periods as a basic need.
“Periods and managing them is not a luxury, it is a basic need and the United Nations has declared menstrual hygiene management as a human right and so, are we doing our part, as parents. Are schools doing their part not to only ensure that they access pads but to also know what is happening to them and they are prepared? Grinvaids said.
Grinvaids also the chief executive officer of Afripads Uganda limited calls for proper toilets with water were girls can bath and wash their pads in order to have proper hygiene.
The winner of this year’s so sure secondary school menstrual hygiene essay writing competition Kwanje Asunta appeals to fellow adolescent girls to always do exercises in order to manage menstrual pain.
Kwanje said that apart from the parents providing adolescent girls with sanitary pads during their menstrual periods they also need to give them information on how to manage the pain they experience.
Hope Nankunda Mwijuka from raising teenagers Uganda says that many girls were dropping out from school due to lack of sanitary towels and dealing with pain.
Nankunda calls for investment in the management of menstrual pain because it also stops girls from going to school.
“The schools which don’t provide opportunities for girls to involve in sports it becomes difficult for them to deal with pain, because sports help girls to manage the menstrual pain.” Nankunda noted
She has also called upon parents and care givers to support their daughters especially when they have begun their periods because sometimes you find a parent has daughters but doesn’t know if they are menstruating or not.
She further advises parents to help their daughters to menstruate with dignity so that they can stay in schools.
Nankunda noted that young girls between 13 to 11 years were also falling victims of teenage pregnancy because of looking for sanitary towels.
In a survey her organization raising teenagers Uganda carried out in some schools in Wakiso district to know why girls were missing in schools, many of them indicated that they would prefer staying home when they are in periods because they fear to be embarrassed by boys who make fun of them.