First Lady, Monica Chakwera has urged different stakeholders to support government by constructing changing rooms for girls to use in all schools in the country to enhance menstrual hygiene.

Minister of Gender Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati made the call on behalf of the First Lady on Friday in Mangochi during the launch of ‘Advancing Menstrual Health Equity in Schools and Communities Across Malawi’ project.

The Event was held at Thema Community Day Secondary School in the area of Senior Chief Nankumba in Mangochi where 650 reusable sanitary pads were distributed as part of launch and also in commemoration of the International Menstrual Hygiene Day which falls on May 28.

Kaliati said it was the desire of the First Lady that all schools in the country have changing rooms and that all girls have access to proper sanitary hygiene, hence the call for support in construction of changing rooms.

“We don’t want to see any girl dropping out of school or even not taking part in every day classes because she’s menstruating,” the Minister said.

She added that, “We have provided sanitary pads to 650 girls and we are going to distribute more than 5,000 sanitary pads to girls in seven districts to ensure uninterrupted education to girls in the country.”

The Minister applauded all partners implementing the Advancing Menstrual Health Equity in Schools and Communities Across Malawi project namely, Days for Girls Malawi who are working in partnership with Shaping Our Future Foundation.

The Project is being implemented on pilot phase targeting adolescent girls and women in seven districts namely, Rumphi, Mzimba, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Dedza, Mangochi and Neno.

Chief Executive Officer for Days for Girls Malawi, Celeste Mergens, commended the First Lady for bringing together a number of partners in promoting menstrual hygiene.

“Girls often have their menstruation in school and this makes them feel uncomfortable especially when they do not have the menstrual care products they need, hence our intervention to ensure that they have something they can count on monthly,” she said.

The CEO hailed the First Lady for her commitment in the cause describing it as an honour for Days for Girls Malawi to work with Madam.

“The kind of commitment in the First Lady is something that I’ve never seen in any other country: it is remarkable and exemplary,” Mergens said.

The Advancing Menstrual Health Equity in Schools and Communities Across Malawi project is being implemented with a funding of US$78, 000 from Plan Malawi and UNFPA.

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