Lusaka, Thursday (May 30, 2024)

Immediate Past Minister of Information and Media, Chushi Kasanda, has emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Government to tackle the challenges associated with Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

Ms Kasanda, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for Chisamba, highlighted the critical role of lawmakers in fostering an environment where menstruation is normalized, allowing young girls to manage their menstrual health with dignity and confidence.

She said this during the commemoration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day in Lusaka under the theme ‘Together for a Period Friendly World’, where she stressed the necessity of comprehensive education on the subject.

“We must unite to elevate awareness, educating not only girls but also boys, to foster a comprehensive understanding of menstruation,” Ms. Kasanda stated.

Addressing cultural barriers, Ms. Kasanda pointed out the traditional taboo surrounding open discussions of menstruation in African societies, which often hinders girls from seeking guidance from their parents upon reaching puberty.

She underscored the need for strategic partnerships with the Ministry of Education to ensure that menstrual hygiene is adequately addressed in educational settings, preventing situations where girls may feel embarrassed or unable to attend school during their menstrual cycle.

Ms Kasanda further advocated for collaboration with the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, citing the essential requirement of accessible water sources for menstrual hygiene, particularly in rural areas where some residents travel up to 17 kilometres to obtain water.

Acknowledging the recent increase in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from 1.6 Million to 30.6 Million Kwacha by President Hakainde Hichilema, Ms Kasanda called for additional resources to construct educational and healthcare facilities.

She encouraged NGOs to lobby for more boreholes in schools, which would significantly aid in maintaining hygiene standards and reducing absenteeism among girls.

Ms Kasanda reaffirmed the Government’s readiness to support NGOs in such endeavours.

“While the Government is committed to providing essential services, we recognize the value of support from NGOs. It is through our united efforts that we can achieve our singular objective of serving the Zambian populace,” she said.

This is contained in a statement issued by Zambia NGO WASH Forum National Coordinator Bubala Muyovwe-Mumba.

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