Foun­da­tion ex­plores san­i­tary tow­els ini­tia­tive

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By AN­NIE ZULU

THE Es­ther Lungu Foun­da­tion Trust is ex­plor­ing the pro­duc­tion of last­ing and cost ef­fec­tive wash­able san­i­tary tow­els for girls in ru­ral ar­eas, First Lady Es­ther Lungu has dis­closed.

Mrs Lungu said the foun­da­tion had al­ready en­gaged some Chief­tai­nesses in the coun­try on the ini­tia­tive.

She noted that lack of san­i­tary pads was one of the bar­ri­ers to girls’ com­ple­tion of ed­u­ca­tion in ru­ral ar­eas.

The First lady was speak­ing at State House when she re­ceived one thou­sands pack­ets of san­i­tary tow­els from the AIDS Health Foun­da­tion (AHF) Zam­bia yes­ter­day. “We are ex­plor­ing the use of pro­duc­tion of last­ing san­i­tary tow­els with some chief­tai­nesses and they have taken keen in­ter­est in the wel­fare of the girl child.

“I have noted and wit­nessed with sad­ness as a mother of the na­tion, how the school girl-child suf­fers in or­der to ac­quire san­i­tary tow­els in ru­ral ar­eas.

“This sit­u­a­tion has af­fected her school cal­en­dar, in the sense that dur­ing her menses, she will be ab­sent from school for about 5 to 7 days ev­ery month,” she said.

And Mrs Lungu has thanked AHF Zam­bia for re­spond­ing pos­i­tively to her call for ac­tion on the pro­vi­sion of san­i­tary tow­els to the ru­ral girl child.

She said the do­na­tions of san­i­tary tow­els would go a long way to­wards re­duc­ing girls’ ab­sen­teeism from school.

Mrs Lungu said the do­na­tion would also help in elim­i­nat­ing HIV trans­mis­sion through early sex de­buts. She ob­served that the girl child some­times ends up in­dulging in trans­ac­tional sex for mon­e­tary gains to help her pro­cure san­i­tary tow­els and might in the long run con­tract HIV/AIDS.

“The is­sue of san­i­tary tow­els is one of the key driv­ers to AIDS in­fec­tion, it is grat­i­fy­ing that AHF has risen to the chal­lenge to part­ner with my Foun­da­tion in this pro­gramme,” she said.

And AHF coun­try pro­gramme man­ager Mab­vuto Kango said pro­vi­sion of san­i­tary pads re­duces girl’s po­ten­tial of ask­ing for the com­modi­ties from peo­ple who could take ad­van­tage of them.

“San­i­tary pads will im­prove the girl child’s per­for­mance in class, lead­ing to their be­ing ed­u­cated and self-re­liant,” Dr Kango said.

He as­sured his foun­da­tion’s con­tin­ued sup­port to the health sec­tor and the girl child in Zam­bia.

Mean­while, Saro agro in­dus­trial lim­ited has do­nated ten wa­ter pumps, twenty trea­dle pumps and one diesel en­gine ham­mer mill to the Es­ther Foun­da­tion Trust at the value of K133, 610.

The First Lady said the do­na­tion would go a long way to­wards the em­pow­er­ment of the women, es­pe­cially and en­sure an all-year avail­abil­ity of es­sen­tial foods in the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties of Zam­bia.

And Saro agro in­dus­trial lim­ited di­rec­tor Ashok Oza said the do­na­tion of the ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment is part of the com­pany’s cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Mr Oza said his com­pany will also help pro­vide train­ing on how the re­cip­i­ents will use the ir­ri­ga­tion equip­ment.

“The do­na­tion is aimed at com­pli­ment­ing the fourth pil­lar of your foun­da­tion trust which is women em­pow­er­ment,” he said.

Mr Oza said his com­pany has in­stalled 6000 ham­mer mills in the last 25 years in Zam­bia.

First Lady Es­ther Lungu

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