iSanitize is calling on schools across the country to invest in Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Clubs to equip learners with information on how to manage menstruation.
Menstrual Hygiene Management Clubs create safe zones where learners in various schools can freely discuss menstrual issues without being judged or feeling intimidated, the clubs also provide an opportunity for one to learn about their bodies, changes they undergo during puberty and healthy practices of hygiene.
iSanitize believes in the importance for schools to form Menstrual Hygiene Management Clubs because learners will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills on Menstrual Hygiene Management, thereby, improving learning outcomes.
Research has shown that women and girls face challenges in managing their menstruation hygienically, both at home and at school, and these challenges range from continued lack of knowledge, myths and beliefs about menstruation and lack of adequate Water and Sanitation Hygiene, (WASH) facilities.
iSanitize has so far facilitated the formation of five Menstrual Hygiene Management Clubs at Five (5) schools in Gwembe District of Southern Province where they have been conducting training on Menstrual Hygiene Management and age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education.
The Five (5) schools are Munyumbwe Secondary, Nyangwe Primary, Bbondo Primary, Nachilala Primary and Ntanga Primary.
The schools were also provided with Menstrual Hygiene Management National Guidelines and Tool Kits to aid teachers and pupils establish Menstrual Hygiene Management programs and facilities to keep them in school.
iSanitize has since encouraged other schools, especially in rural areas to form Menstrual Hygiene Management Clubs in order to heighten sensitization on the importance of practicing healthy and sustainable Menstrual Hygiene.
iSanitize believes that MHM Clubs in schools will help cure traditional norms and myths associated with menstruation, and help adolescents to engage in healthy conversations on MHM and WASH.
iSanitize Head of Programmes Brenda Musonda, stated that the iSanitize technical assistance and funding from ActionAid Zambia through its SID funded project is running a five months project on age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Gwembe District, Southern Province.
The project operates in Two (2) Wards of Gwembe Districts, namely Bbondo and Lukonde Wards.
She added that the Project is aimed at strengthening the capacity of citizens to demand improved policies and programs that promote inclusiveness and accessibility to age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Gwembe District by 30th September, 2022.
“While in the District, a total of 250 Hygiene Kits comprising of a bucket, disposal, and reusable sanitary pads, bath and laundry soap, underpants, body lotion, roll on, toothpaste and brushes, body hair shaving sticks and sanitizer were distributed to both female and male learners,” Ms Musonda stated
And iSanitize Founder Jacqueline Chishimba has called on both local and international NGOs operating in Zambia to engage iSanitize as an implementing partner in Menstrual Hygiene Management, WASH and Age-Appropriate CSE targeting the remotest parts of Zambia.
Ms Chishimba explained that iSanitize has a team of youths and currently the organization is looking to engage more youths to work with in rural Zambia as most Menstrual Hygiene Management, WASH, and CSE work is highly concentrated in the urban and peri-urban areas of Zambia, a situation which she termed to be sad because rural communities are being deprived of information and knowledge.
“It will be very difficult to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, if we ignore the rural communities, therefore, Partner with iSanitize, our team is ready to go anywhere in Zambia,” Ms Chishimba noted
iSanitize is a developmental Non-Governmental Organization working in the hygiene and sanitation sector, to facilitate, promote, advocate and build capacities of young people, schools and communities in rural and peri-urban areas of Zambia.