Kilifi,KENYA: Social cultural behaviour has been found to hinder dialogue on Reproductive Health in Kilifi county.
Reproductive health education is a topic that most parents have attested to the fact that they cannot dare speak freely to their children in Kadzinuni area kilifi county.
Speaking on Sunday during Young Adolencent Project (YAP) Activity at Kadzinuni primary, Omar Bandika a volunteer for Rising Winners Initiative said most cases of early pregnancies are led by poor communication between parents and there children.
“The community is shying away from issues of menstruation and sexuality education. Mothers cannot discuss with their girls because it is embarrassing.” Said Bandika.
Bandika urged the community to embrace Reproductive Health awareness to do away with the high number of school drop outs.
“The number of young mothers in Kilifi county is alarming, we have found out that in every 5 girls aged 15-19, one is pregnant or has done an abortion, at least 20 girls drop out of school annually because of pregnancy. What does that tell you?” He asked.
Speaking during the same occasion, Mary Maina, a nurse working with Vipingo Health Centre Kadzinuni, urged the students to ensure proper hygiene during and after menstruation as she demonstrated to the girls how to use and dispose sanitary pads.
“The fact that parents cannot discuss reproductive health with there children means that they cannot show them how to use and dispose pads hygienically. Putting girls at risk of infections and lack of confidence during there menstrual days.” Said Mary.
Gladys Kai a Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung (DSW) community volunteer health worker, said the area has many challenges in reproductive health education and use of sanitary pads being a puzzle to many
“Dsw is playing a major role in our schools,through the YAP club our student have been empowered with knowledge of sexual reproductive rights and today the issue of menstrual Hygiene.” Remarked Gladys.
Halima Ali project coordinator for Young Adolescent Project Kilifi County, said Dsw-Buyer HealthCare are working tirelessly to ensure young Adolescents are given right information on Reproductive health.
“We sensitize the community on social cultural perception about menstruation to ensure girls are safe and maintain proper hygiene during menstruation.” Said Halima.
The project has managed to provide mentorship, life skills and support 27 public primary school girls with provision of sanitary pads and undergarments.
Every year, the world marks Menstrual hygiene day on 28th of May.