Give adolescents more information about menstruation

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.

Development partners urge government to intervene on menstrual hygiene issues

By Zirimala Daudi
Uganda will be joining the rest of the world to mark the menstrual hygiene management day on 28th may at a time when Uganda is still facing a huge burden of having menstrual hygiene among her female population mainly among school going girls.
According to health expert Dr. Edson Muhwezi ,there is need for every Ugandan be it a cultural, religious, political, community, CSO leaders and parents to take up the matter to help facilitate girls with sanitary pads during their menstrual periods for them to enjoy living a comfortable life.
He says Ugandans should utilize this day to embrace the plight of the girl’s education by eliminating the barriers to their education through putting in place policies to help them.
 Development partners and advocacy groups have also advised government that menstrual hygiene issues need a comprehensive approach if the country is to register positive results that will see female citizens in this country live a respectable life.
According to the development manager at straight talk foundation, Walakira Godfrey said that Menstrual hygiene in Uganda is a less discussed topic in Uganda with less budgetary allocation towards this vote by govt which has seen many Ugandan school going girls either drop out of school or loose most of their school time trying to attend to this issue which has continued to impact negatively on their lives.
Govt had to allocate UGX.16Bn in this financial year to give out free sanitary pads to school but later it was revealed that it has insufficient funds to facilitate this vote in the national budget which has created worries among school going girls in rural areas.