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Men urged to be involved in menstrual hygiene management

A menstrual hygiene management champion in Trans Nzoia County, Daniel Karanja has embarked on a campaign to involve men in menstrual hygiene management.
Speaking in Kitale on Christmas eve, Karajna wanted myths related to menstruation demystified and women encouraged to maintain hygiene during the menstrual cycle without misconceptions.
He gave examples of myths propagated by society among them misplaced notion that women should not eat chicken during periods and abstain from certain chores, as some of the hindrances that make men to keep a distance from women.
Karanja noted that the campaign was meant to change misconceptions held by men concerning menstruation and encourage them to participate in the management of the process.
He said men can be take part in menstruation by ensuring women are able to access materials for safe menstruation, such as soap and clean water and in addition provision of safe private space for menstruation.
The campaign is based on the Kenyan approach to menstruation which has three aspects namely breaking the silence, management as well as safe and hygienic disposal of menstrual products.
Trans Nzoia County Public Health Officer Norbert Musundi regretted that lack of involvement of men in menstrual hygiene management impacts negatively on the development of the girl child.
He said that girls especially from villages skip about four days from school monthly during menstruation which may not be recovered hence end up affecting their studies.
The Public health officer noted that the problem is worsened if the home where the child stays lacks proper facilities for safe menstruation and lack of access to sanitary towels.
According to Musundi, most men were ignorant about what might have caused their daughters to stay at home skipping classes during the menstruation process.
He said men should understand the process that the girls and women undergo to be a normal condition and support them in ensuring that they go through it without facing many challenges.
“It means that as parents we are not keen on the needs of our children,” he explained.
The Project manager of Love beauty project at Step30, a Non-Governmental Organization in Kitale, Jane Maina said that apart from provision of sanitary towels there is need for safe facilities and other necessities for safe menstruation.
She said that in a home set up, especially in rural areas men as father-figures were expected to provide monetary support for purchase of sanitary towels and a conducive environment for safe menstruation.
Step30 is an organization that makes reusable sanitary towels which they donate to vulnerable groups and the slum areas around Kitale town.
By Moses Wekesa

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