Nairobi, KENYA:Nominated Naisula Lesuuda has advised a multi sectoral approach towards distributing sanitary towels to young girls to ensure they stay in school.
She has called on the government and private sector to unite in ensuring the pads are given to girls free.
“Menstruation has been a taboo topic in Kenya and keeping quiet about the issue will be a danger to school going girls,” the senator remarked.
Lesuuda has said that half a million girls miss school when on their menses.
In an event organized by Proctor and Gamble P&G, the youngest senator has asked men to join this mission to ensure girls stay in school.
Dr. Claire Kinuthia an obstetrician gynaecologist based in Nairobi has warned that those who cannot afford to change sanitary pads regularly due to financial constraints are also at risk of getting infections.
“Prolonged use of pads and tampons makes a girl prone to Toxic Shock Syndrome TSS. This bacterial infection manifests itself through fever, nausea and shivering,” she advised.
Speaking in Nairobi, Always Brand Manager, Ms. Ivy Kimani reiterated P&G’s commitment to help reduce school absenteeism and provide innovative sanitary pads that provide girls with comfort and protection through the Always Keeping Girls in School programme.
“In a span of 10 years we have helped keep over 100,000 Kenyan girlsin school by providing them with over 8 million sanitary towels through the Always Keeping Girls in School programme,” said Kimani.
Data from the Ministry of Education states that 1 out of every 10 adolescent girl in remote areas miss an average of 4.9 days a month when experiencing menstruation.
“This adds up to 20% of the days in a school year and some drop out because of menstruation related issues. This puts them at risk of early pregnancy,” concluded Senator Lesuuda.
This happens as the world celebrates International Day of the Girl Child.