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Kericho school girls get tips on Menstrual Health Education

The Kericho County Health Department carried out a sensitization forum and donated dignity packs of sanitary towels to hundreds of school girls from Kimolwet AGC in Kipkelion East Sub-County, Kericho County during this year’s commemoration of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

According to the Kericho County Reproductive Health Coordinator Dr. Emily Cheres, the sensitization forum engaged the youth on issues touching on menstrual hygiene and teenage pregnancies.

Dr. Cheres further pointed out that Kericho was among the leading counties in teenage pregnancies with a 14.5 percent prevalence an indication that there was a need for concerted efforts to end the trend.

“The session with the youth was engaging, we taught them what monthly periods are, the use of pads at their disposal, what it means to have a missed period, and how to end teenage pregnancies” added Dr. Cheres.

During the session, the medic underscored the fact that poor menstrual health and hygiene undercuts fundamental rights of girls including the right to work and go to school, and worsens social and economic inequalities.

“Patterns of exclusion and shame, undermine human dignity. Gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises, and harmful traditions amplify deprivation and stigma and we need to make menstruation a normal fact of life,” said Cheres.

Meanwhile, girls of Kaboswa Primary School in Ainamoi Constituency were also gifted sanitary pads courtesy of the Rotary Club Kericho.

Speaking to KNA, the Kericho Rotary Club Charter President Oscar Lumire pointed out that Kaboswa Primary School was targeted since the majority of the pupils in the school were from financially challenged families and could not afford sanitary towels.

According to Lumire, difficulty in affording menstrual products can cause girls to stay home from school and work and can push them into desperate coping mechanisms such as transactional sex to pay for menstrual products.

“Together with our partners at Rotary Club Kericho, we seek to eliminate period poverty, in which low-income women and girls struggle to afford menstrual products and that is why we are committed to helping them access this basic need” Added Lumire

According to United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), period poverty describes the struggle many low-income women and girls face while trying to afford menstrual products and includes not only menstrual pads and tampons but also related costs such as pain medication and underwear.

By Kibe Mburu and Melvine Chepngetich

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