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Busia DG on a mission to address menstruation

Busia Deputy Governor, Arthur Odera, has underscored the importance of breaking the silence on menstruation to safeguard the dignity of girls and women.

Speaking at Ng’elechom Primary School in Teso South Sub County on Friday, Odera said menstruation is a social matter that people must talk about publicly.

“The way we were brought up as boys, matters of menstruation were not part of our discussion because it was a secret for girls and women. But today in this modern world, we want to make it a public issue considering that it is a normal process,” he said.

Odera said the County government, led by the Governor, Dr. Paul Otuoma, who is the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) Menstrual Hygiene Ambassador, has allocated funds towards the purchase of menstrual hygiene products through the Health and Sanitation Department.

He challenged girls not to shy away from asking their parents to provide them with sanitary pads when they have periods, adding that they should also remain focused on their studies to be successful. “There is no rush to get married or to get pregnant,” said the DG.

Busia Health Executive Beatrice Nakholi said through the Menstrual Hygiene Champions, her Department will continue raising awareness about menstruation across the county, particularly in schools.

Chakol North Ward MCA Dalmas Onjole, who is also the Chairperson of the Busia County Assembly Committee on Health and Sanitation, revealed that girls were dropping out of school due to the challenge of accessing sanitary pads.

He cited the example of a student from Ng’elechom Secondary School who went into hiding due to the shame of being on periods after seeing her colleagues heading in her direction.

“We have established that many students who are on periods do not go to school, while some use the available materials, including leaves, to sort out their menstrual hygiene problems, exposing themselves to infections,” said Onjole.

The Busia County Assembly Women Caucus, led by the Chairlady, Angeline Wasike, said they are focused on ending menstrual stigma, stressing that menstruation is a healthy and natural part of the female reproductive cycle.

During the occasion, the Menstrual Hygiene Champions, led by Busia Governor’s Office Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Champion Christine Namaindi, educated pupils and students on the menstrual hygiene process.

By Absalom Namwalo

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