Poor management of menstruation affects many girls country wide.

By Baluku Alex

Menstruation is an integral and normal part of female gender, indeed of human existence.

Menstrual hygiene is fundamental to the dignity and wellbeing of women and girls and an important part of the basic hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health services to which every woman and girl has a right.

Globally, approximately 52% of the female population (26% of the total population) is of reproductive age. Most of these women and girls will menstruate each month for between two and seven days.

Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to many other issues like fungal or bacterial infections of the reproductive tract, irritation of the skin that may cause discomfort and can possibly result in dermatitis.

Despite declining national poverty levels in Uganda, 41% of Ugandans mostly in rural areas still live in extreme poverty (below $1.90/day) according to Development Initiatives & World Bank.

The adult literacy rate in the country stands at 76% (World Bank). And, although women’s literacy rate has improved over the years, women continue to face gender disparity when it comes to employment and sexual and reproductive health rights.

For example, women earn on average 39% less than men in the private sector and still spend much longer doing unpaid care work meaning that menstrual hygiene products can be difficult for girls to obtain.

A package of 10 disposable pads costs $1.35 USD on average, which is unaffordable for many households as 34.6% of people live on less than $1.90 a day. In addition to lack of products, sanitary facilities are likely inadequate.

What is the side of the story in Kasese? Kasese District’s high rate of poverty has also meant that the majority of women and girls cannot afford to purchase disposable sanitary products and often resort to unhygienic substitutes such as rags, toilet paper or banana fibers.

Now, in bide to promote and advocate for good reproductive health of young girls in the communities of Kasese and beyond, Reach out for Societal Transformation ROST a nongovernmental organization, has unveiled the Kasese based local female artist Heli Baby as the Organization’s brand Ambassador to spearhead the Kasese Girls outreach 2021 project campaign.

Heli will advocate for better Menstruation health management by increasing engagement with women and girls, local authorities and religious leaders.

According to the Organization’s Executive Director, Edreda Tusiime, the project is based on a theme “Creating a healthy and purposeful life to every girl.”

Tusiime who noted that the task requires them to eradicate the lack of menstrual hygiene products, they will during the campaign train the young and vulnerable girls on how to make and use reusable sanitary pads. She said that this would allow these young girls to be able to live a health life during their periods.

In her address, Loyce Agaba alias Heli said she was pleased to get the opportunity. The singer says it is crucial to uphold the right to health for women and girls not to experience negative health consequences when they lack the supplies and facilities to manage their menstrual health.

She says that menstruation stigma can also prevent women and girls from seeking treatment for menstruation related disorders and pain, adversely affecting their enjoyment of the highest standard of health and wellbeing.

She pledged to mobilize communities through a musical campaign on social networks and seek commitment from local authorities and religious leaders to ensure the creation of an environment conducive to better MHM.

The memorandum of understanding between the two parties (Heli and ROST) was prepared and presented by Bamwenda Court Bailiffs.


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1 comment

Tusiimr March 7, 2022 at 7:56 am

Very good
And we are still working hard to change the situation of the vulnerable girls and teenage mothers in Kasese


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