MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY 2020
All over the world schools provide a safe haven for children, especially for young girls.
In East Africa, Fields of Life empowers partner schools to educate their pupils on menstrual hygiene management. Schools play a vital role in ensuring that female pupils have the resources and facilities they need to look after their menstrual health and hygiene such as lessons on how to sew sanitary pads and the availability of hand washing facilities.
What happens if these schools close?
Due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, schools in Uganda have now been closed for over two months. As part of Fields of Life’s response to COVID-19 in East Africa our staff have been providing a telephone support service to beneficiaries based in rural communities. The data recorded from these phone call shows some of the negative impacts of lockdown on these communities and community leaders have highlighted the challenges for young girls. In the results from Week 3 of the telephone interviews 41% of the community leaders said that access to sanitary pads was an issue for girls in their community. The following week one community member emphasised the taboo nature of menstrual hygiene issues and said that these issues “are considered silent problems”.
Fields of Life are working to ensure that these issues are addressed and that we support the most vulnerable communities with the resources they need during lockdown. We are thankful to donors who have allowed us to reallocate funding to ensure that girls are given support with menstrual hygiene management even when their schools are closed. Click the infographic to find out more about what COVID-19 means for menstrual health and hygiene.