Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Covid-19 pandemic worsens access to sanitary wear

Herbert Chikosi

 Kimberly Kusauka/ Pepetua
Murungweni

A
crisis of lack of sanitary wear for women and girls has notably increased
partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has worsened poverty levels in
communities, it has been observed.

Colloquially
referred to ‘period poverty’, the problem is endemic in rural areas where the
country’s poorest live, but unemployment and job lay-offs due to the
pandemic-induced lockdowns have seen the problem getting more pronounced in
urban areas too.

Speaking
at a Menstrual Health Management conference held in Masvingo recently, Zimbabwe
National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) Marketing Officer Herbert Chikosi said
many girls lacked access to dignified sanitary wear.

“Girls
experience lack of appropriate sanitary products and a conducive environment
where they can manage their period in a dignified manner, and this forces many
girls to skip school,” said Chikosi.

Speaking
to TellZim News later on, Chikosi with support from Plan international Chiredzi
and Divine Trust, ZNFPC was distributing sanitary pads to young girls and was also
making reusable sanitary pads at their Tshovani Youth Centre.

“As
ZNFPC, we are getting assistance from Plan International Chiredzi and Divine
Trust and we are distributing pads to young girls and also making reusable pads
at Tshovani Youth Centre,” said Chikosi.

He
said the organisation was training young girls on making reusable sanitary pads
on their own so that they are able to deal with period poverty in the Covid-19
pandemic situation.

“We
are training young girls to make reusable pads on their own so that they are
well-equipped to curb the period poverty especially during this pandemic,”
said Chikosi.

To
celebrate Mother’s Day, ZNFPC offered free family planning services which
include Jadelle, Implanon and Sayana Press for the whole week.

To
help fight the secrecy and stigma around menstruation, ZNFPC is now including
men in menstrual health management dialogues.

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