Kabwe Mayor, Prince Chileshe, says issues surrounding menstrual hygiene and its impact is a national matter that has the potential to adversely affect the attainment of sustainable development.
Speaking when he officiated at the Menstrual Hygiene Day Commemoration at Nambe Primary School , Mr Chileshe said menstrual hygiene challenges need to be recognized by both genders.
The Mayor noted that menstrual hygiene can never be over emphasised as it is a topic that is cross-cutting in society.
“It is not only what happens to our mothers, daughters or sisters but the broader picture is the process for the creation of life which makes us all affected,” Mr Chileshe said.
Observing that in Zambia with over half of the population being female and over 80 per cent within productive age, the Mayor said menstrual hygiene management is an area that need much closer attention with the ability to negatively affect social and economic wellbeing of citizens.
“Let us keep this conversation active beyond this commemoration as it affects girls across the country especially in terms of their participation in education,” he added.
He said there is need to continue talking about menstrual hygiene so that the young women and girls’ self-esteem is boosted.
He urged teachers and school managers to take keen interest in menstrual hygiene saying it is not possible to preach the importance of girl child education without addressing menstrual hygiene effects.
“It important that you ensure menstrual education top priority and support is given through the provision of factual information on menstrual hygiene management, “ he said.
Mr Chileshe said efforts should be put at all institutions of learning and places of work to ensure the availability of water sanitation facilities that area safe, socially and culturally acceptable.
The mayor said menstrual hygiene has been known to be one of the factors contributing to the girls missing classes during their menstruation for a myriad of reasons which greatly affect the girl child’s education.
Mr Chileshe urged parents, teachers and community leaders to take more interest in menstrual hygiene to stir the female-folks’ participation in development.
The 2020 Menstrual Hygiene Day was commemorated under the theme, “Periods in Pandemic”.
Meanwhile, Mr Chileshe has thanked the Netherlands Development Organisation, the co-organisers of the commemoration for the donation of 300 pads to six schools in Kabwe District.
Mr Chileshe noted that working in collaboration with the Netherlands Development Organisation 300 pupils have been empowered with menstrual hygiene parks.
The six schools that benefited from the donation are Nambe, Munyama, Nyama, Munga and Kangomba Primary Schools, and Nambe Secondary School.