The Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Alliance has today, 7th May launched a mega Menstrual Health and Hygiene campaign. The event, held at the Straight Talk Foundation offices earlier today is the beginning of a three-week rigorous exercise that will be felt nationwide.
The lack of proper Menstrual Health management skills which accounts to close to 30% of school dropouts among adolescent girls. In a bid to lower the percentages, rolling out a campaign anchored on the theme Accelerated Actions to Improve Menstrual Health and Hygiene for girls and young women in and out of school was inevitable.
While launching the campaign, SRHR Alliance’s National Programs Coordinator Mr Charles Owekmeno called upon the Ugandan government alongside its policy makers to to go back to the drawing board and roll out adequate and sustainable investments for improved menstrual health and hygiene.
It is not okay for anyone who menstruates to be deprived of their future. Menstruation should never be the reason girls drop out or even miss school.Mr Charles Owekmeno, SRHR Alliance’s National Programs Coordinator
Also in attendance were representatives from Buganda Kingdom, Ministry of Health and the Aga Khan Foundation. They didn’t leave behind those from Reach a Hand Uganda and PHAU with each promising their undivided support to the campaign. The Miss Uganda Foundation through the interim Miss Uganda also pledged their support to ensure all girls have some knowledge about menstrual hygiene before they get their first periods.
Buganda kingdom is at the forefront of girls welfare. The kingdom is dedicated to skilling communities on how to make reusable sanitary towels.Ms Deborah, Ministry of Social Services, Buganda Kindom
What the public should expect.
Being the fifth month of the year, May was picked up to be the menstrual health awareness month since ladies take an average of five days in their periods. With the cycle spanning out an estimated 28 days, 28th May was selected as the D-day. However, SRHR Alliance won’t sit and wait for three weeks but go straight to work alongside the various stakeholders.
Faith Mayra, the Allaince’s National Youth Coordinator reiterated the importance of the media and confirmed a number of activities are lined up to drum up media and digital engagement. One of these activities is the the How do I wear it challenge which will have men demonstrating how one can dress pads. Another of the activities that was kick-started at the launch is the MHM MAGIC WORD challenge. This requires one to write a word that comes to their mind when they hear about menstruation and share the pictorial evidence online for a chance to win goodies.
The campaign will be taken to schools as we look to raise a generation that is equipped with knowledge on menstrual health. This will go a long way in fighting societal misconceptions about menstruation. One of these is the forceful throwing of girls into marriage as soon as they get their first period. Another of the societal shortcomings is the perception that “girls are not clean” during their periods. This has led to stigma among girls which in turn contributes to the high levels of school drop out.
Brief Information about SRHR
Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance is a consortium of organisations that stand for and promote young people’s SRHR. Their core goal is ensuring all young people have access to high quality and friendly SRHR information and services. They leverage their members that have a strong niche, expertise, and experience in key aspects of SRHR programming for vulnerable and marginalised groups of adolescents and young people.