skip to Main Content
Simu: +255 653 200 211 | Barua Pepe:  

Adela Madyane, Kigoma

Regardless of the government and non-government efforts to combat the effect of menstrual hygiene on women and girls, there are still some existing challenges whereby only 28% can access and manage hygienic menstruation cycles.

Among the mentioned challenges are the inadequate menstrual services, a high price in accessing the products, adequate clean and safe water, exchanging rooms at schools and in public areas, insufficient changing towels at school, dust bins and disposal areas as well as cultural beliefs. 

Speaking during the commemoration of the international day of menstrual hygiene management conducted on Saturday last week they said there are also limited knowledge on handling hygienically menstruation and thus more education is required to rescue the situation, especially for interior women and girls whose basic requirement be a piece of clothes

Mama Chimpaye Mpango, the Vice Presentment’s wife standing at the middle with blue heat, during the Breaking the silence campaign in Kigoma region

Kayana Robert a student from Buseko secondary school said, they lack  exchange rooms, sufficient toilets, medical boxes dustbin, and as well as sufficient water a situation which needs them to skip some sessions and asking of the government to place a proper infrastructure for menstruation in schools

“Apart from non-supportive hygienic menstruation we face some abusive words from some teachers, they  tend to punish us with abusive language while we are in pain, and it is improper for some girls to feel sick during the cycles while others stay normal, teachers should treat us with comfort words”. said Robert

On his side the headmaster from Kasingirima secondary school  Venance Ndegeyea said, they, unfortunately,  don’t have changing room but they have the toilets that help girls easily do disposal and that after construction of the ongoing  toilets they will get rid of changing rooms

“We have managed to solve the issue of exchanging underwear for girls for among the capitation money we budget money we make sure we buy underwear to help girls feel comfortable and stay at school during menstrual cycles with exception of girls who get sick during the cycles” said the headmaster

On her side regional education officer Paulina Ndigeza said, norms and tradition remain a crucial challenge to women and girls staying in rural areas as they never speak of menstruation in public and handle it unhygienically 

She said that reduce the burden on girls at school the government has placed counseling and guidance teachers in every school to help girls to overcome the challenges associated with menstruation

?We trained teachers who will always be there to support girls whenever they need psychological assistance, and other needs regarding menstruation, I ask for full involvement of parents in removing traditional perspectives to secure girls from early pregnancies? Said Ndigeza

Speaking to some of the parents, Rehema Nkana said, that most get affected when they need to exchange pads when their in markets, and prayer rooms for there are most of the time no disposal kits as well as areas to wash their cloth when they need to change 

“You find there is not enough water, the toilets are dirty and uncomfortable to use, no buckets no soaps for washing, we mostly carry tissue papers and find a hidden area to exchange pads and wash them at home when we go back after long day work” said Nkana

She said, many of them use traditional cloth, they wear them from morning to evening, likewise those who wear pads, some wash traditionally they don? iron them  and asking for mandated to have a special room with all necessary for women to exchange during managing menstruation to avoid fungus and uterus infection

Addressing menstruation challenges in the Kigoma region regional medical officer (RMO) Jesca Lebba said among 689 primary schools and 215 secondary schools only 48% have permanent water supply 48% have changing rooms for girls and 49% have special facilities for safe sanitary pads disposal while 18%, have a presence of sanitary pads  

RMO is asking for other stakeholders to keep enabling the situation for girls and women by improving school infrastructure  and educating them on how to manage menstruation cycles and supporting them with the provision of a knit and clean towel 

Vice president’s wife, Mbonimpaye Mpango (center) became an ambassador of hygiene menstruation

Looking at the contribution of non-government organizations in reducing the challenge of menstrual hygiene management Severin Alute, menstruation hygiene management secretary lead from Tanzania Menstrual healthy and  hygiene coalition (MHH) said from the research conducted by the National Institute of Human Research (NIMR) they had constructed  special rooms for exchanging  rooms in different schools following the 2016  construction guideline from Education Ministry

He said in collaboration with other actors and the government they have impacted knowledge on managing menstruation, supporting the towels in schools, and that they will keep fighting to reduce the challenges of inadequate water in school, access to sanitary materials in school, as well as reduction of sanitary costs to be at affordable by every woman

 On the side  Elizabeth Ndaba, health and nutrition team lead from World Vision Tanzania

World Vision Tanzania (WVT) said, they always support children in school by providing equipment relevant to their needs, they build schools, assure water accessibility as well as building toilets with special rooms for hygiene and menstruation management, and maintaining a proper environment for girls to have safe menstruation

“As for now we have provided USD 2000 to support towels to children in school in Kigoma region only, we are doing all this to make sure girls are safe and cant skip school sessions because of menstruation for menstruation is a gift and a source of life” said Chidodolo

Furthermore, the regional commissioner (RC) Tobias Andengenye said Kigoma region was given 1.9 billion to improve school infrastructures of hygiene and sanitation as the key to menstrual hygiene management

On her side Salvata Silayo, safe menstruation coordinator from Healthy Ministry said, the ministry in collaboration with the education ministry under sustainable water and sanitation  project in rural areas  has managed to construct 602 school toilets by 2020/2021 and 235 in 2021/2022 to promote health menstrual to girls and women

On his side, Prof Abel Makubi, Permanent secretary from the ministry of health said the ministry’s strategy is to make sure by 2030  no girl and woman will be complaining about the issues of affordable rates in purchasing pads  and other challenges associated with changing rooms, and water availability be solved within the country

Prf Makubi is directing the community to not use the towels which are not assured by the Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority (TMDA) and that TMDA has to ensure the quality of pads before girls and women use them for effectiveness.

Moreover, the guest of honor vice president’s wife who is also a menstrual hygiene ambassador Mbonimpaye Mpango said there are no equivalent services with the number of girls in schools nationwide as the number of students increases both in primary and secondary school

She said there is no ratio in using toilets like only 27.8% of schools reach targets, 52% of girl’s toilets do not have doors, 28% of schools have special changing rooms with adequate water and changing towels, and the worse be of girls with a disability where accessibility to toilet lays on 4%,  which means the management of menstruation is still low and more efforts have to be placed to make menstruation healths and lovable. 

The guest of honor had asked the government through the Ministry of Finance and Planning to conduct a meeting with menstrual stakeholders to bargain on tax removal on products related so as the costs can be affordable to all girls and women and that the menstruation is taught from primary school in standard six.

Back To Top
Buha FM · Buha FM Radio Sauti Ya Kigoma