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Extra Mile Development Foundation has spent K21.9 million on initiatives to promote menstrual hygiene in four primary schools in Mzimba North.

The organisation has constructed changing rooms, pit latrines, provided hand-washing facilities and sewing machines for production of re-usable sanitary pads at Enthongeni, Engcongolweni and Embombeni primary schools in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mtwalo and St Dominic Primary School in T/A Jalavikuba.

Speaking on Tuesday during the handover of the facilities at St Dominic Primary School, Extra Mile Development Foundation executive director Towera Ngwira emphasised the importance of promoting menstrual hygiene in schools.

She said lack of menstrual hygiene facilities is one of the challenges facing girls in schools.

Ngwira (R) cuts a ribbon to hand over the changing room at St Dominic Primary School

Said Ngwira: “We are working very hard to address menstrual hygiene issues. This is a major hindrance for a girl child to access education.

“Besides offering information sessions on menstrual hygiene and training girls to make reusable sanitary pads, we have constructed changing rooms and pit latrines to ensure girls still attend classes during their menses.”

Mzimba North school health and nutrition assistant Kondwani Nyirongo said the support has come at the right time as the schools had no changing rooms.

He said: “Previously, girls used to miss classes during their menses due to the absence of appropriate facilities.

“This significantly impacted their education. Now, we expect improved attendance and performance among female learners.”

St Dominic Primary School head teacher Gerald Mkandawire said they were registering absenteeism among female learners because of lack of sanitary pads.

“We have cases where girls fail to come to school during their menses. We thank the organisation for supporting us with changing rooms and sanitary pads,” he said.

Source: Nation Online

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