Population Service International (PSI) recently donated several menstrual cups and sanitary pads during belated Menstrual Hygiene Day commemorations held at Heyshott Primary School in Mazowe District.
BY VANESSA GONYE
The day is commemorated on May 28 every year.
PSI sexual and reproductive health technical director, Stephano Gudukeya told NewsDay on the sidelines of the event that the Heyshott community was the first to benefit from the free menstrual cups distribution which is set to be rolled out across the country.
“Cups will be distributed through the Concession New Start Clinic and right here the officials from the clinic will teach beneficiaries how to use them and demystify certain myths before distributing. Particular questions will be asked to identify the deserving beneficiaries,” he said.
“We will then embark on a distribution programme in June (this month) to Mazowe, Mutare, Makoni, Chipinge, Bulawayo and Gweru. We will target mostly communities that have less-privileged girls from 15 years old to 24. However, we are not just going to limit it to girls, but we will also target mothers. The cups are reusable, safe, easy to use and cheap looking at the 10-year period one is able to use them. You just need US$15 to buy it.”
Mvurwi town secretary Sheri Nyakudya commended the initiative.
“This is, however, a drop in the ocean. We need more teachings around menstruation because the (Mazowe) district is too big. I hope it is going to extend to other local authorities. This day challenges us all to think about the plight of women, especially adolescent girls and the young as they go through this non-optional phase in life,” she said.
Swedish Embassy’s head of development co-operation Mette Sunnergren reiterated the need to stop the stigmatisation of menstruation.
“We have to break the thinking that it’s a taboo and the stigma so that everyone knows it’s a natural process such that they go to school without being ashamed or getting harassed,” she said.
PSI commemorated the menstrual hygiene management day themed #NoMoreLimits with support from various stakeholders that include the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Menstrual Health Specialist Trust and the Family Health International (FHI360).
Dendera musician Sulumani Chimbetu thrilled fans during the commemorations at Heyshott’s soccer pitch.
Dancer Brenda “Subaru” Kaseke of the Wandiona Entertainment Dance Group and its leader Ruvarashe Muchero spiced Sulu’s act with energetic dances.