In the remote area of Muhiwa Village in Mulanje district pupils from Namphungo Primary School have something to smile about as 90 girls benefited from sanitary pads donated by Plan Malawi.
According to Plan Malawi Humanitarian Response Coordinator in Mulanje district, Douglas Nantapa said approximately over 1000 girls in the district miss school for ten weeks every year during the menses and hence the need to accord the issue necessary attention.
Nantapa said Plan Malawi want to promote and advocate for socioeconomic and emotional wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women by influencing positive social change and build girls leadership to improve their quality of lives.
He says majority of adolescent girls do not go to school when menstruating due to reasons ranging from culture to lack of sanitary facilities and menstrual hygiene management.
There are many reasons for the increased cases of Adolescent girls’ absenteeism and dropping out of school but one is that girls tend to stay at home when menstruating, missing 4 or five days out of every school month
“This eventually leads to a sharp increase in dropout rates among girls after 4, 5 and 6 years of primary education,’ he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Rosemary Malikuti, who is in standard 6 says it is now reasonable for her to say that the distribution of sustainable sanitary pads had made a substantial contribution to the support for her stay in school.
Rosemary said at first, she was absconding classes when menstruating, fearing the unknown.
“Now I am assured of completing at lease my primary education since the introduction of the sustainable sanitary pads and training in menstrual hygiene management,” she says.
Another standard 6 girl Brenda Ben, who benefited from the free sanitary towels said the donation was the move in the right direction.
She said access to sanitary towels has in the past been limited by prohibitive costs which forced most girls to opt for unhygienic materials such as dung and dirty clothes to manage the menstrual flow.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :