By BRADLEY MARIORI
MENSTRUATION is a culturally sensitive issue thus students, especially boys, tease girls during their period, Situm Primary School hygiene teacher Angela Meisi says.
She said girls need someone trust worthy to talk to about their situation and this was where her role as a hygiene teacher came into play.
“Menstruation hygiene management (MHM) is vital for the empowerment and well-being of women and girls and it is about more than just access to sanitary pads and appropriate toilets – though these are important,” Meisi said.
“It is also about ensuring that women and girls live in an environment that values and supports their ability to manage their menstruation with dignity.”
Meisi said the European Union (EU) and United Nations children’s education fund’s (Unicef) water sanitation and hygiene (Wash) project provided basic hygiene kits for girls including soap, toiletries and cleaning detergents for their facility.
However, she said the school in Nawaeb, Morobe, was exploring the use of reusable pads that could be sewn locally and at an affordable price.
Implementing partners World Vision with funding support from EU and Unicef have constructed 18 female toilets and MHM washrooms including incinerators, 12 male toilets and two teachers toilets with handwashing facilities for the school.
World Vision through its Wash in-school component of the ‘Klinpela Kominiti Projek’ has intervened in the formation of school’s health club and advocated on school management to support the cause for girls.
World Vision is working with the school management through the health clubs on social marketing for reusable pads.
Head teacher John Gemotang said they had captured the sustainability of these facilities gifted to them in their annual school learning improvement plan budget and funds would be available for students use.
Gemotang said the school would budget for hygiene kits for girls and soap for proper handwashing practices to instil healthy habits.
By BRADLEY MARIORI