Poverty still making menstruation a nightmare

Poverty remains a cruel beast subjecting most Malawian women and girls to endless menstruation nightmares as they cannot afford hygienic sanitary materials in the face of economic hardships.

The harsh reality emerged during the commemoration of this year’s Day of Menstruation in Mulanje on Tuesday under the theme:”Together For a Period, Friendly World.”

Director of Reproductive Health Services Dr. Fannie Kachale decried loss of menstrual materials by women and girls in the district due to the recent Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

“When women are menstruating, they need hygiene to continue doing their jobs freely and avoid any embarrassment. We encourage them not to feel ashamed during this period,” said Kachale.

Tereza Namizinga, a Form 3 learner at Muloza Community Day Secondary School in the district, said that the devastating cyclone destroyed all the products they use to keep them clean when menstruating.

“We have been struggling to take good care of ourselves because some menstrual materials are expensive,” she said.

In his remarks, Water and Environmental Sanitation Network Executive Director Willies Mwandira, Executive Director said they are complementing government’s efforts in ensuring there is water where women and girls are found.

World Bank estimates that 500 million women and girls globally struggle to access to menstrual products and adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management.

A 2015 UNICEF report says half of Malawian schools lack adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services to enable girls and female teachers manage menstruation.

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