First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Launches Menstrual Health Management Programme in Nairobi

  • The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta made her first address after President Uhuru Kenyatta asked for forgiveness from Kenyans during his State of Nation address in Parliament.

    While launching the Menstrual Health Management Programme in Nairobi on Thursday, the first lady called for holistic solutions to challenges facing girls and women in the country.

    She expressed the need for leaders to champion the entrenchment of the rights and dignity of the adolescent girls by ensuring they access basic services including sanitary products.

    “We must remain committed to preserving the rights and dignity of our adolescent girls because ignoring their menstrual hygiene needs is a violation of their rights,” Margaret stated.

    [caption caption="Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday"][/caption]

    She added leaders need to find practical, holistic, cost-effective solutions that would ensure even the least fortunate have access to clean and safe sanitary solutions.

    “We need to find holistic solutions where girls and women have access to water supply, sanitation and good hygiene,” she conveyed.

    The First Lady explained that it was unfortunate that many girls drop out of school during the important stage of their development due to lack of sanitary products.

    “It is sad to note that during the important stage of their development, many girls drop out of school while many others miss approximately 15 to 20 percent of school time annually due lack of sanitary products,” she stated.

    She pointed out that lack of alternative solutions were pushing menstruating girls out of school temporarily and sometimes permanently, explaining that this had led many girls to fall prey to early pregnancies.

    The First Lady noted despite being an important aspect of reproductive health, many cultural barriers have continued to be an impediment to menstrual health management to thousands of women and girls.

    [caption caption="Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday"][/caption]

    She emphasized that Kenyans have a lot to do to eliminate the stigma, cultural and social barriers that infringe on safe health practices for women and girls.

    “We must create environments and spaces where they (women and girls) can be protected from neglect and social exclusion merely due to biological cycles,” she stated.

    The Menstrual Management programme is an initiative spearheaded by the County First Ladies Association with support from the Red Cross Society, the African Cotton Industries and Children Investment Fund Foundation.

    The programme focuses on menstrual hygiene, adolescent sexual and reproductive health education, nutrition education, mentorship, life skills development and policy influence.

    [caption caption="Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday"][/caption]

    It also aims at complementing government intervention by implementing strategies that work to improve access to sanitation facilities, improve hygiene, adolescent sexual health awareness and address girls’ absence from school by incorporating a mentorship psycho-education and life component.

    The Programme is also geared towards the social and economic empowerment of one million girls and one million boys as leading lights in support of the initiative.