West Nile launches free sanitary pads programme

Ms Atyero Nimungu makes reusable pads after she was trained by Plan International. PHOTO | PATRICK OKABA

What you need to know:

  • The beneficiaries have been drawn from 100 primary and 20 secondary schools selected across the four districts of Nebbi, Yumbe, Pakwach and Zombo.

The authorities in West Nile have embarked on a drive to offer free sanitary pads to girls to retain them in schools.

The beneficiaries have been drawn from 100 primary and 20 secondary schools selected across the four districts of Nebbi, Yumbe, Pakwach and Zombo.

The senior woman teacher in one of the schools, Ms Lilly Atizuyo, said rural schools have the highest dropout rate due to lack of sanitary pads.

She adds that from P1 to P4, there is a higher percentage of enrolment, but when they reach P5, where girls start experiencing their monthly cycles, the numbers keep dropping.

“Our girls are dropping out of school because parents are very poor and they cannot afford to provide sanitary pads. We are hopeful that if this initiative is sustained, it will help our girls to complete the education cycle,” Ms Atizuyo said.

According to some girls who Daily Monitor spoke to, they are forced to use leaves, pieces of clothes, and toilet paper to manage their menstruation cycles.

To restore the hopes of girls to continue with education, more than 50 young mothers who dropped out of school are now being trained by Plan International, a development and humanitarian organisation, and Trail Blazers Monitoring Foundation, an non-governmental organisation, to make reusable sanitary pads.

Under the programme, authorities expect to distribute more than 40,000 sanitary pads to girls aged between 10 and 17.

The pads will be distributed to poverty-stricken families and marginalised girls in the sub-region.

Skilling

The managing executive director for Trail Blazers Monitoring Foundation, Ms Joyce Atimango, said they have trained and skilled more than 50 teenage mothers who are now making reusable pads.

She added that to meet the target of 40,000 sanitary pads, they have secured training equipment and established skilling centres for young mothers.

The acting district health officer for Nebbi, Ms Susan Twinomujuni, said they have limited resources to handle adolescent reproductive health.

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