The Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum(UYAHF) has distributed menstrual health materials to over 200 girls in Kyaka II refugee settlement in Kyegegwa District in western Uganda.
The donation was part of UYAHF’s menstruation with dignity campaign targeting girls and women especially during the Coronavirus lockdown.
“The campaign is aimed at raising awareness, give a platform for everyone to contribute what they can, and ultimately to acquire menstruation and hygiene management products such as knockers, soap, water tanks, and sanitary pads. This campaign continues to break stigma against menstruation and to ensure that no girl is left behind,” said Patrick Mwesigye, the UYAHF team leader.
He noted that as part of the campaign, they have reached out to over 3000 adolescent girls and boys in primary and secondary schools raising awareness on menstrual health and breaking the menstrual stigma.
Mwesigye noted that with the onset of COVID-19 and its effects like the lockdown, grave impacts on girls and women’s menstrual health have become exacerbated.
“This is why it is pertinent that we continue to advocate for continuous investment and action in menstrual hygiene management while ensuring that no one is left behind. Menstrual hygiene management is in many ways, a human rights issue but also central to the dignity of women and girls,” he noted.
“Menstrual hygiene is as well an important part of the basic hygiene, sanitation, and reproductive health services to which every woman and girl has a right. An estimated 1.8 billion girls, women, and gender non-binary persons menstruate, yet millions of menstruates across the world cannot manage their monthly cycle in a dignified, healthy way. With such campaigns, we help to realize this right.”
The UYAHF team leader said in many cultures, menstruation is still being treated as a taboo where many girls are victims of social stigma, a thing he said needs to be dealt with.