Kampala-About 61 per cent of girls miss school annually due to lack of menstruation hygiene facilities in their primary schools, experts have revealed.
According to a United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) survey report conducted in 10 districts between 2012 and 2013, education specialists said girl pupils miss one to three days of class per month, which translated into 8 – 24 days per year.
Mr Wilberforce Kimeze, the water and hygiene specialist from Unicef, said silence over the matter needs to be broken so that girls are relieved of the psychological challenges that block them from attending classes during the time of transformation.
“We have observed that this situation is affecting the learning process of the girl child. Others fail to go back to school because of inconvenience that comes every month and yet many schools have not included menstruation issues on their curriculum,” Mr Kimeze said.
Speaking at the maiden conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Kampala last week, Mr Kimeze said lack of constant water supply, changing rooms and counselling have led to the rampant school drop outs.
He asked the health sector to make menstrual hygiene management part of their periodic inspection and report to the district water and sanitation coordination committee on the quarterly basis to ensure all primary schools have established and functional health clubs.
Dr Jane Egau, the assistant Commissioner for Instructor and Tutor Education in the ministry of Education, said lack of policy on menstrual hygiene management has created stigma, worsening the presence of girl pupils in school.
“Plans have been finalised to put in place the policy that will favour girls during menstruation so that they continue with their education without any other challenge,” Ms Egau said.