By Sam Majamanda – Mana.
Campaign for Health Education Sanitation and Hygiene (CAHESH) project coordinator, Lucy Nkhoma says it is important for menstrual hygiene to be mainstreamed in social life for it to be accepted as a normal topic in society so as to secure girl child education.
Nkhoma made the remarks on Tuesday during a day’s orientation of key community structures on issues of menstrual health and hygiene aimed at mainstreaming the topic in societal discourse.
Speaking during the orientation Nkhoma insinuated that menstrual health is one of the key elements affecting the girl child’s education, therefore there was need for proper consideration on it.
“Research has shown that when a girl is menstruating and there are no proper hygienic supplies for her to use chances are that she’ll miss school for fear of shame. Additionally menstrual health is also about a girl knowing how her menstrual circle works so that even if she engages in sexual activity she can still avoid pregnancy and remain in school,” Nkhoma said.
Recently statistics from the District Health Office revealed that over 5,000 girls from Phalombe district became pregnant from January to June this year, with around 3,000 of them being school going.
Commenting on the issue, Senior Chief Nazombe who also attended the orientation meeting said it was very important for parents to be engaging their children on issues of menstrual health without regarding it as a taboo.
The Chief said avoiding discussing the topic in society is one of the reasons girls are getting pregnant and dropping out of school each day.
CAHESH is implementing a WASH project in Phalombe and Chikwawa districts in which among other things issues of menstrual health are considered critical.