Menstrual hygiene education is very important for school girls right from Primary School to higher levels.
When they are equipped with proper education girl students can attend classes without fear over their persistent natural body changes.
Some girls living in towns or those who study at core education schools face different challenges, which affect their academic performance.
Pupils from Mundeme Primary School in Bahi District, Dodoma told Young Citizen how they benefited from the National Menstrual Hygiene day,which was organized by Usafi wa Mazingira(Umata) programme implemented by Plan International.
Stella Yohana a Standard Six pupil says it is important for girls to get menstrual hygiene education because it helps to be confident while attending classes which helps them attend school regularly.
“I used to fear to come to class and sometimes I felt like everyone knows the kind of pads I used to protect myself. I would lose confidence before fellow pupils. This is something we have been waiting for,” says Stella.
But that was not all because on certain occasions she would be forced to protect herself with pieces of clothes instead of pads which are clean and safe.
She has a request. She wants government to supply free pads to schoolgirls as a way of making them attend class without worries.
Furaha Pius is also a Standard Six pupil, who according to her culture a girl is forbidden from going to school during their menstrual periods. She says this was mainly because there wasn’t enough education on the matter and the fact that pads were not easy to come by.
“I think the kind of education I have received will make me confident. I am now in a position to ask for some help from my parents or teachers in case things get out of hand,” says Mwende.
Mwende corroborates with Maria’s idea of appealing to the government for free pads.
Prisca Stephano is a Standard Seven pupil says she learns many things at school but cleanliness for girls is of utmost importance.
However, Umata Project officer Magreth Munisi says that for most girls menstruation starts at 12 -13 years old.
Magreth says the program which was under the theme “Education about Menstrual hygiene enables girls to have confidence and believe in themselves.”
“As we see to some people, due to traditional beliefs, it is a taboo to speak about menstrual cycle in the public to the detriment of school girls’ hygiene,” she says.
It really irks to find that some school girls fail to attend lessons due to natural body changes. It is time we addressed girls’ concern once and for all.” says Magreth.
She adds that a school should have friendly infrastructure for school girls to protect themselves during menstrual periods.