The Adventist Development and Relief Agency Zambia (ADRA) has launched a project on the Menstrual Hygiene in Urban Townships that will benefit over 7,000 girls.
ADRA Country Director Kennedy Hadasimbi said lack of provision of menstrual hygiene management products is hindering girls from attending school with dignity and comfort during their menstrual periods.
He said access to health and education has been a challenge for most children and women adding that the situation gets worse when on their periods.
Mr. Hadasimbi charged that statistics currently show that 42 percent of girls are still missing school when attending their periods.
“58 percent of girls reuse the same pieces of cloth for long periods of time while 77 percent have challenges accessing appropriate facilities to keep themselves clean while in school and other public places,” he added.
He further disclosed that his organization has empowered the local community based organizations with tailoring skills and supported them with reusable pads making start up kits.
Mr. Hadasimbi was speaking during the launch of the Menstrual Hygiene in Urban Township Project in Chainda.
Speaking when she launched the project, Lusaka District Commissioner Rosa Zulu noted that government appreciates the cooperation of partners such as ADRA for looking out for the needs of the girl child.
Mrs Zulu explained that the project which is targeting a total of 2,160 direct and 10,000 indirect beneficiaries from Chainda, Kabangwe and Ng’ombe townships will uplift the plight of many girls in the areas.
She said the project could not have come at a better time than now when the world is calling out to all partners to make menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030.
“ It is sad to see girls still struggling to access menstrual products, stigmatized over a situation that is natural and see them have little or no access to proper standards of hygiene,” she said.
The District Commissioner said the project by ARDA Zambia is contributing to the government’s vision to promote the sustainable development goals on universal access to quality health and education.
Meanwhile Lusaka District Education Board Secretary Ian Miyoba said the levels of absenteeism in schools are necessitated by the absence of a girl child owing to the menstrual periods.
Mr. Miyoba stated that any intervention that will keep the girl child in school must be commended and given the necessary support.