HUMREL Supply Chain Group together with its partners have donated an assortment of sanitary wear and toiletries to Saint Catherine Special School in Eastle, in a move that is likely to ease challenges faced by girls especially those with special needs in managing the menstrual health.
By Patricia Mashiri
The donation also coincided with the 2021 Menstrual Hygiene Day which is running under the theme “More action & investment in menstrual health & hygiene now!” Some of the partners who collaborated with Humrel in the initiative include Oxfam, Bowerbrands Media, Windmill Country Manor, Tasha’s Hygiene Products and services, Bustop TV and individual sponsors.
Speaking during the handover ceremony Patience Foya, the Director for Humrel Supply Chain group said their donation came following the realization that many girls and women face a myriad of difficulties during their menstrual periods.
With the growing recognition of the difficulties women and girls face during menstruation in terms of access to preferred material; challenges to accessing access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials as well as the understanding that not having adequate and fit for purpose menstrual hygiene materials is a challenge; for girls and women it could mean days off school or critical work trying to manage bleeding days.
“Use of alternative options like cloth that is not fit for purpose potentially leads to leakages and embarrassment therefore a loss of dignity for girls and women. The selection of reusable pads and menstrual cups as solutions is fit for purpose, ease of use and lifespan of the mentioned options. We are further seeking for partnership to ensure that we amplify the messaging around MHM, improve access to re-usable pads and restore the confidence and dignity of female counter part,” Foya said.
The donated sanitary hamper contains a pack of disposable pads, reusable pads which can be used for at least three years, and soap for washing the sanitary pads.
She added that they were raising awareness on the available alternatives of reusable solution, hygiene practice and increase access to information and material.
“We seek to ensure that where the girls and women have no access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials, they can just reuse the available pads,” she said.
Meanwhile Mrs Charity Gunda, Headmistress at St Catherine’s Special school expressed gratitude to Humrel and its partners for the kind gesture as the communities of People With Disabilities (PWDs) are often forgotten with regards to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues.
“Learners here at St Catherine Special School just like others are given maximum attention they are catered for their special needs in preparation for their adulthood,” said Mrs Gunda. “They are empowered with skills so that after school, they will be independent adults. In sports, just like other schools, they are excelling. The school is facing challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic . We are experiencing low fees payment which is affecting diet, Sewerage blockages needing repairing, Durawall repairs to protect our children since some of them cannot give talk.”
She also added that women and girls with or without disabilities were facing challenges during their menstrual periods and there was need to invest in menstrual health at all levels of society.