Re­mov­ing pad­ding from san­i­tary prob­lem

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Yolisa Tswanya

A MORE tar­geted ap­proach is needed to en­sure that san­i­tary tow­els are dis­trib­uted to those who des­per­ately need them.

The Com­mu­nity Chest con­ducted a sur­vey at 10 schools around Cape Town and found most of the girls (88.6%) did not miss school dur­ing their pe­ri­ods. The sur­vey in­ves­ti­gated pat­terns of ab­sen­teeism in the schools due to men­stru­a­tion and other sex­ual ed­u­ca­tion and fem­i­nine health is­sues.

The find­ings have been in­cluded in the Global Phi­lan­thropy Data Char­ter, cre­ated by the World­wide Ini­tia­tive for Grant-mak­ing Sup­port, which aims to in­stil a cul­ture of data gath­er­ing “to em­pir­i­cally in­form phi­lan­thropy ef­forts”.

Com­mu­nity Chest spokesper­son Joan Daries said they car­ried out the sur­vey af­ter re­ceiv­ing a “spon­ta­neous” do­na­tion of san­i­tary pads.

“We know it is a prob­lem for some girls and it’s a prob­lem that has got wide­spread sup­port, but there is no real in­for­ma­tion driv­ing san­i­tary drives. There is not much re­search be­ing done.”

She said speak­ing to the girls gave a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of is­sues around ac­cess to san­i­tary pads.

“What the re­search told us is the is­sues are a lot more tex­tured than girls not hav­ing ac­cess. There needs to be proper re­search done so that the re­sources can go where they are really needed.”

She said they would like to do an au­dit of san­i­tary dis­tri­bu­tion places. “This is to make sure the so­lu­tion is directed to the prob­lem, so there is not more money thrown at an is­sue when it can be used else­where.

“We know that of­ten when do­na­tions come in they are shoved into ware­houses and all kinds of things get into them.”

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