Menstruation Continues to Challenge Rural School Attendance

Despite global efforts to address menstrual health, the issue remains a significant challenge in rural schools, particularly impacting girls’ education and well-being. Lack of support from parents and inadequate guidance leave many girls at the primary level struggling to manage their menstrual cycles in a dignified and healthy manner.

Pamela Auma, a senior woman teacher at Akokoro Primary School in Apac district, sheds light on the harsh reality faced by adolescent girls. She emphasizes that the onset of menstruation introduces a new phase of vulnerability, worsened in rural communities by poverty, limited exposure, and insufficient facilities and menstrual hygiene products.

It is estimated that 1.8 billion people across the world menstruate monthly, yet millions struggle to manage their menstrual cycles with dignity and health.

Furthermore, Auma parental neglect exacerbates the situation, with many families unable to provide sanitary pads due to financial constraints. Consequently, girls drop out of school, spreading a cycle of disadvantage. Limited resources and inadequate infrastructure, such as the absence of counseling rooms, further hinder efforts to educate pupils on menstrual health.

Ogangi Stephen, a concerned parent in Apac, stresses the importance of involving boys in combating menstrual stigma. He emphasizes that boys must support their sisters during menstruation, as dropout rates tarnish the reputation of entire families.

Beyond educational implications, poor menstrual hygiene poses serious health risks for girls. To address these challenges, the Inner Wheel Club of Uganda is taking proactive steps. Under their theme “Shining a Light,” they are empowering both boys and girls to make reusable sanitary pads, offering a sustainable solution to menstrual hygiene needs.

During a recent training session at Akokoro Primary School, over 120 boys and girls were equipped with knowledge on menstruation management and making reusable santitary pads that can be reused for at leats 6 months.

Petra Apige, President of the Inner Wheel Club of Kampala, highlights the affordability and environmental benefits of reusable pads, urging boys to utilize their newfound skills for self-reliance.

In recognition of the school’s academic excellence, the Inner Wheel Club of Kampala also donated scholastic materials worth UGX 5.4 Million. This gesture not only supports education but also underscores the club’s mission to improve the lives of women and children worldwide through voluntary service and friendship.



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