the menstrual hygiene month which will be marking on the 28th come the 28th will be celebrating the world menstrual hygiene day so before we get to that day what do we need to know when it comes to hygiene menstrual hygiene especially for our young girls who are just getting to that puberty state they do not understand what goes into you know menstrual hygiene and/or then of course the challenges that come along with menses as well so if we'd like to be part of this discussion please feel free to do so the hashtag we are using on Twitter still remains hashtag good morning Kenya at KBC channel 1 is our official station handle at KBC television as well you can also tag me on those questions or comments or clarifications that you may be having my handle is at Jane one boy now to help me with this discussion in studio we have three ladies I'll start with my extreme left she is a Royce I carry from real relief a safe pad Kenya coroebus honor thank you at the center we have a tsuba Aden Hussein she is a health promotion officer from Garissa the sub County in Garissa cream sana thank you and to my immediate left we have on welfare Haroon she is from casual alliance organization caribou sana thank you so we just want to have a very candid a very open discussion about menstrual health that you know to just try and demystify all these misconceptions that are out there when it comes to mental health as a whole for our girls of course as we build towards the world menstrual day now we just start by trying to help our viewers anyway our gentlemen out there understand what a menstrual cycle is what it entails and the challenges that come along with having menses for our young girls so maybe I can start with maybe race' from your point of view briefly just try and help our viewers understand what a menstrual cycle is is like a mistress a hoe is the whole process like from the time the girls that like feeling that she shared a crime the men said and the whole leg until the time she she needed their product maybe if I can talk about masters in management because menstral cycles brought masters in management is a process from the time the ladies start receiving um menstruation the product she uses up to the safe dispose of this best raw product so master gene means seven agent managing menstruation all right now and maybe also bio so tell us a bit about your understanding about menses and in the cycle and hygiene as a whole thank you very much as my colleagues say their menses is process time the lady experience the first day until disposal time and you may talk about the challenges some challenges maybe the lady does not know how to dispose this tape so she needs Sarah Sarah Sarah indication on how to use the part and how to dispose okay at what age do most of our girls you know should expect their menses and you know at what age do you feel we need to start talking to them about what to expect in terms of their menses at what age do you feel is most appropriate just holding Mike at the center from the age of nine nine years we need to start having these conversations with our daughters but you know there's this cultural disposition and these cultural taboos that you know we are not as open with our children when it comes to these talks and it's a big challenge when it comes to you know just opening up with our daughters what do you make of all these you know limitations that are there in society when it comes to talking with our daughters about such okay the the taboos vary for different communities the communities that are more you know closed cultured than others so I think these are things that you just break down by increasing the levels of advocacy the empowerment the kind of education even giving our children and our children does not mean you just focused on one particular gender which is what most of the groups of advocacies do they focus on the girl child but once you leave the world behind and that is where the biggest intimidation could come from if you find a girl in class four who started her menses then her discman who's a boy is not really informed and not such classics where they get to understand that this is a normal thing for every girl so that girl will shy off and will not know how to go about her mental health and have nestra lighting' so I think four taboos you should empower both the male-female the parents at home you should sensitize which and even on that and then know how to handle every community differently account is like nairobi might make not shy off from such because you know they are more informed but if you go to the liberal groups come to garrison may be a far place like ballon ballon Jarra those at least they don't even know or cannot talk about these things so four different counties in different areas you give them different attention you know how to weigh your options what and how can you break down this information to these groups them aside the Samburu so we need to talk both to the girls and the young boy so that they can understand what the other person is going through and he just of where that whole face of discrimination really cool that comes with it yes no let's talk about this just quickly good to the challenges that you know come along with menses due to the benefit of time the biggest challenge that you know we have especially in the rural areas as you put it is you know access to these sanitary towels and materials that you may need during your menses and there was a report that I saw that about sixty five percent of low-income women and girls do not have access to such what do you have to say from your point of view in Garissa County is this actually a reality it's a reality and maybe most of the ladies from a poor family they can't provide the country they can't buy these parts from a shop so the challenge they have is maybe they'll become a dropout when they see this first mental period in school they have that stigma because boys are not are not educated as Michael exceed where we make fun they make fun of their maybe the lady gets period in school Patna is a boy with her he sees this period she loves art i involves others to other children due to that that lady can be a dropout from that school simply because you have she is that she is shamed and she that stigma in her head the other issue is maybe where she is from she doesn't have even a daily income where she can even get meals so getting a part from my shop is a problem so because of poor income she can't even have that problem of not going to school and it's a big problem in everywhere especially now in terms of you know having talks and discussions with our children about how to go about their hygiene during this period who do you think is best positioned to do this is it the parent or the teacher course you find at home the parent wants the teacher to talk about this with the child and at school the teacher expects the parent to talk about this with their child so who is best positioned to talk about menstrual hygiene with a child when it comes to information and talking about menstruation I think we need inclusion everybody should take responsibilities at school the school should be having like a topic on menstruation and the kids should know like when I grow up decided salad the changes are happening to my father leg when I have my menses I need to take a bath and it wash my hands and entertain the product the bases were need the information and back at home most parents don't talk to their kids about menses which is really a big big mistake they're making because this kid they need this information so parents to talk to their kids about menstruation so that we can break the silence in such levels when the church leaders should take lead so everybody should be involved because you'll find like mostly the parent live there Roland they are also the teachers school level literally they are targeting to cover them the curriculum so if they are talking about reproductive health they don't talk about menses so they just specifically talk about like this video like a lady can get pregnant if she doesn't get pregnant as getting the menses so when you talk holistically about menstruation parents to talk to their kids and most of these parents because of the stigma and the will surround administration they do want to talk about it they don't know even how the products looked like so from my point of view everybody should be on board and then we need to end the stigma anti taboos around administration okay and even as you try to talk to our children about you know menses and what comes along with it do we understand the child-friendly language that we need to employ to make our children understand or just as she's saying you know we just in class using cow in the lungs when you tell them something so complex that they need a better understanding do you feel the way we talk to them also is a problem yeah certainly because that you know as I said every topic needs to be handled with different to it so when you come to a society we are Africans the things we don't you know go openly about such as these topics and then come down to how our community communities are you know programmed and and how we operate so the language matters a lot and I always insist on the education system incorporating these topics into our syllabus and not waiting for up to you know when you reach class six is when we start talking about this with our science teacher who most likely is a mill and would not you know go beyond what he's mandated to do in a classroom so I think we should adopt simple languages you know in form of cartoon books things that you know can break down the messages in a very soft way the children can understand they can openly carry home their parents may come across it they might say okay this is what you're learning come sit down I can tell you one two three about so you realize that this information is being passed as early as age nine eight seven which is the right age so that by the time you 14 you're fully informed both you and your classmate who's a boy your parents have are comfortable enough talking about these issues with you and it won't lead to future problems you know like now shying away from this and not asking for the product openly and then you might look for other unhealthy ways of dressing which is one of the challenges that we'll be getting to but let me hear from you super do you feel the way we talk to our children about menstrual hygiene is a problem in itself just building to the problem that we don't talk to them it's it's a problem me first it depends on how you talk to your child and I believe it's the mother who can be the best teacher to educate her mother yeah the mother okay apart being going to the school it has it should start from home when she gets married she should do this this in a soft manner we the lady will adapt to that your house but you know if you try to talk to your daughter in a harsh way she would even feel she would live in fear to come and tell you that when she gets a mezzo because she knows that when she gets and got to tell her mom at the end of the day she will be the mother will be very harsh to her so I believe and it is true the way you talk to a child matters on how a child will handle the issue yeah all right roamed from the mother it is the teachers who come to school it is the teachers to educate these girls on how to care about honestly the other people are supposed etiquette is Ministry of Health and Minister of Education there should be a regular health education going on schools yeah yeah on topics because this lady maybe she caused the period she doesn't know even how to change the part they are was she supposed to have that party with her you know there's a certain hours usually duration how to dispose how to dispose of where to dispose if she has all that knowledge from Minister of Education Ministry of Health teachers parents collaboration with everybody that lady will have that self-confidence well she gets the period she can dispose everything for herself without any fear without any stigma she can and you know it's the time where there's so many hormonal changes yeah that you are going into and then you do not have as a child you do not have somebody who you can confidently talk about the changes that you're going through especially a girl when you have seeing all these physical changes your breast a protruding you get your menses your voice often then you don't have somebody who can help you understand this changes it's one of the biggest challenges that we're seeing it when it comes to sexual reproductive health here in Kenya now those who sort of research that I saw that you know we've talked about you know access to these materials for sanitary hygiene being a challenge talking about them is a challenge and now even when you have access to them somewhere to change is also a challenge especially in the rural set up what is the situation as of now limb here from you Aidan in terms of having a decent places to be able to change these pads or tampons or cups that are available yeah it is true in every school there's no proper place where the lady can change the only place they have maybe the toilet which would not be very convenient for changing so she'll have that fear I'll come by if she goes the toilet maybe somebody else will come this is not a private this is a communal toilet if the child will come so it is it it could have been very advisable if school is collecting if they could have been a sub if there could be a separate place for changing the parts for their privacy when they feel like they want to go and put another part they get that privacy when they want to that they want to change the part they have that privacy so always I believe if there is that privacy it can continuum now risk even in terms of hygiene how far does you know having a decent place to change your pad goes and just trying to even to keep you healthy as a person yeah basically we need like to advocate for wash facilities that are like gas friendly and boys friendly talk like here we have there those latrines toilets they should be having like a running water table when a girl has changed that part you need to wash a hon she need a bill they need a stop there and then we need like persons with disability we need disability friend friendly wash facilities so that somebody can walk in with the wheelchair they can have a mirror they can see a rifle my dress or not so in our schools and the community we are lacking those facilities but I like to call like partners who are watching this water sanitation and hygiene from the Minister of Education have environment we need to advocate the gorge facilities there are friendly to ministry teen girls yeah okay now before we even go to a father into this conversation I had mentioned to you earlier before we do we started this conversation that I shared with somebody of me to be having this interview and they told me to ask you know our panelists why is it that we have so many readily available free condoms as opposed to you know sanitary towels that our girls can use because there was reported I came across that you know two out of three ladies or young girls access pads through sexual partners yes you agree with I think because men are using condom if men women stretching would be having a solution like these free Center towers and there would be every way yeah and they would be everywhere so it's more of gender bias yeah in this case because even the concept behind condoms is to prevent but once a girl engages in the transactional relationships which is sex for pads then she is at a higher risk of getting the HIV herself so why not ensure that she has the cure products and make it free at least I would say sex is an option but words are not but some you know ministration is something that is reviewed every other month why not put it in the same washrooms where these girls can access and get it for free and I would even reduce the rate of teen pregnancies HIV infections because if you look at counties like Kelly fee and malindi and and and the coastal counties the rate of teen pregnancies are high and this is due to transactional relationships come to these sides of Western and and in Daniels our province most of the girls are suffering from HIV and that's from as low as age 14 to 24 what is causing this and this is due to the lack of these products they are not available the government has passed a policy yes they should be free they should be offered for free in all schools but they are not consist and and once you get the product they're not sustainable you give the part once that's it we might not see you again for another two or three months what might have transpired between those period that you are not with me so the bill did come into power but it's not being implemented as such in most of this implementation for all the policies is a problem policies are many every day we are drafting policies we are calling stakeholders people are giving us good solutions but nothing is being done so it's a very sporadic situation where you see them this month you'll see them again next tab and the only of a one packet oh sorry maybe I can say like you see ministration is a biological processes that we can't go without but something like sex you can sell it or gonna have sex or not even you see the cost of condoms it's very cheap network but if somebody's buying there the parts already assessed you can and that is not even quality yeah so for me I think like men now need to take lead on the mistral matter so that we can have a solution because I think that the one were hindering us from having the free obviously for every policy or everything to be accepted we have to put men at the front because you can't run away from the fact that we are a patriarchal society if we make them own these policies then implementation would be is because it will be something that has come from them I'm not I'm not attacking everyone but as is the reality at ground because these are things that you have to involve everyone especially on natural health how do you ensure that you have a nation that is healthy if the highest percentage which is women are being affected due to lack of this products and where we headed and it is always important when this indication is done the involvement of men should appear so there should be prayer should be part of them because they should also get the knowledge the important of this thing so that at the end of everything they also taught to these issues here and they can even indicate that not only the mother to educate but if the father himself have that that you can also yeah and just I don't know this issue of you know having transactional relationships to be able to access pads still in the rural set up one out of every four girls does not associate their menses with pregnancy as a result you know as a whole question of the lack of information that is there that's being taken advantage of so when it comes to just sharing information especially on a public platform what would you feel needs to be done towards this end to just create that at least a sense of awareness among our girls to understand what you know sexuality is all about I think what we need to have is like holistically we train on main strategy management and then we talk about the changes the glass undergo the boys undergo these changes and you have like teenage pregnancy issues sexual reproductive health reported occasion so that we can have all these girls talking about the challenges they are facing and also we need to break the stigma surrounding menstruation because normally if t it's seen as dirty and we need like to change that misconception ministrations are no more blood not dirty because everybody came from there if your model wasn't ministering maybe you cannot be there so what we do basically we do a lot of advocacy we end the cinema on ministration and then we bring men on board we bring all the boys and persons with disabilities or everybody like all fetanyl should be involved in breaking the silence and education is the key in everything because yes you can have product but you like information what i'm going to do so we need to have a lot of information a lot of advocacy and education and then we need to on ministration we need to even teach our girls how to use the pad in itself all right and there's someone who was asking kindly elaborate on the point of you know a patriarchal society hindering you know menstrual hygiene education policy most which is we need a career if you look at even the set up of parliament we don't have the 2/3 representation here and so when policies and are being approved they might be shot down because the majority are men and they're not really familiar with what is going on here yeah but if if we had if you had the men involved in in the mental hygiene topic would have full friendly policies on mental health Mental Hygiene and we might even be having better products that can be out there which are approved for sale okay and this is why I say every every policy we have to put men at the front and how do you ensure that inform them educate them we want more advocacy and also let them do their own research what is good for the girls that I represent in my constituency yeah okay and not just go to you know some of the enabling situations or environment that can be put in place to just help this girl's better navigate you know this menstrual period do not miss school because that is one of the biggest disadvantage that our girls are facing missing school on a monthly basis because of your menses now when it comes to the whole issue of cost-effectiveness what what do you feel needs to be done to just help you know bring down this cost to make sanitary towels at least readily available to almost every young girl out there let me hear from your super it could have been very easy for this part as the government has started this thing for free it could have been better so that it continues every month giving every month because maybe you give this lady this party this month and remember she's not the only one at home would be mistreated maybe her mother our youngest my younger sisters so for this excess to be very effective and very continuous the government should implement this in base in monthly basis or after every two months the ladies should be given with a lot of awareness with a lot of comments and reservation even the community must be sincere compa piston is it's normal for ladies here and it starts from this period after this period if the community one knows that and the lady is given good health education together with with the male I think everything would be very easy for the lady alright you'd like to add on today also I'm thinking like we need to have like five dispensers in schools and maybe watch places where girls and women can't get access to the main stock products and let's not forget that this graph they don't only lack the fact they don't have even panties you see and then I'd like to advocate for sustainability in mainstream we'd like to talk about the reusables because we are giving the disposable just a one-time use even this gas can hide a long-term solution not a lot yeah if these girls can have the reusable is more sustainable it has a long-term solution and also like communities can even be trained on how to make this Center towers and also play to advocate like for sanitation shops at the community level if the school doesn't have money to procure if the girl don't have the man to procure they can have that shop where they can get this part and they can play poorly for infinity clear their bins so that will have accessibility and affordability of the product are there any you know homemade alternatives that can be put in place to just help you know in a situation where you really are not able to access our shop or free pads anywhere what are some of the home alternatives that you feel can be able to just help a girl just go through this period comfortably and safely let me hear from you um I would still I would call onto the support of the reusable sanitary towel it's not today because as Carrie said you can make them at home and once you bring the product down to community level you're not only improving the mental health hygiene and mental health issues we also ensuring women empowerment and that's a source of fear at the source of economic empowerment for this women so if I can get my product from the next-door neighbor and this is something I would urge the government to come on board and support stakeholders are calling on for the usable sanitary towels because it's not only sustainable it's also environment friendly the disposables are plastic the nobody credible you threw them in the latrines blocking latrines so if the government could ensure that the free sanitary travel is a reusable sanitary towel and you bring them down to community level and we have the big four which is production this can be part of the manufacture because these are things that can be manufactured at all industries you bring them down to the community level because the mandate now falls under the first lady's you ensure that they're training women in the community to make them from their own homes so if today I have my period randomly I can run to my neighbor and she can give me the product make sure that it's accessible and sustainable to avoid that and also the school's can have the Sanitation shops we know dividend the schools they don't have their parts the girls can access this product they have different ears and then parade they can face loli until they clear their bill and not just give out free you know ensure that it comes with the dignity kit you give out the soap you give out the the panties because the lack of this other extra support material zealand by leading causing people to go into this transactional relationship you've given me a free pad so what with my panty now I need money to buy this product because it's not cheap so in essence there should be like a criteria it should be adequately so so hard the pad and the you know and at least the basic and also I kit for boys for inclusion because boys need to be on board they need to understand why girls men straight they get four breezes which can be having like a box of this and so on yeah now osoo bars rewind the conversation in terms of awareness and advocacy what do you feel needs to be done especially in our rural setups to try and bring this awareness and sense of education and information to just try and bring this change that we want to see when it comes to how we look at and address menstrual hygiene and different sexuality as a whole well good is the basic issue for this person for this lady to get the knowledge and to be healthy educated it should be a continuous process it's not it's it should not be something on one day then left this things will be a process a continuous process whereby Minister of Health Department of Health Department and Minister of Education correct collaborates our body took together and they go do thorough thorough thorough awareness all right so they really need to go to school three schools and not just once not once regularly particularly alright and this is whereby they do one-to-one face to face open conversation composition okay maybe when you ask the lady a question in front of the boys she will never tell you the answer very straight if you make that to be a privacy and the continues talking to the lady she will be exposed and if you didn't come tell me why sometimes when she gets blue she doesn't come to all right Risa just very briefly what would be your suggestions towards you know sanitary hygiene since it's your docket very briefly I'd like to call like for all partners to come on board and then we create safe spaces for all girls and boys and then we have several environments during menstruation and we need a budget for this and a lot of advocacy to keep it as a long term project for girls and for long term for sustainability I still advocate for the reusable reusable pads all right um okay your you know in terms of solutions and suggestions towards you know finding a means to this what would you suggest is very briefly because I come from the NGO department I would maybe call for stakeholders both the government the non-governmental the schools event common both increased sensitization empowerment for both genders and also have friendly policies policies are supportive of this product so that we can have the I suppose right at our shops but we can easily access these products ensure that their friendly police is a la around the mental health and hygiene issues so we really need to go hard when it comes to awareness and talking to our young yeah and you know even the grown-ups as well who our friends who do not understand what it's all about accessibility to all these you know materials that we need during this up here you know among yeah all right well we have been talking about menstrual hygiene and how we can go about just making all girls feel more comfortable do not have to feel insecure do not have to miss school and you know feel normal because it is a very normal physiological phenomenon it is part of being a girl so you know we're just trying to help drive this conversation forward to create awareness where it is lacking with me in studio we have been let me start to the extreme left she is our oyster Kerri from a safe pad Kenya all about real relief heavily advocating for reusable pads thank you so much for coming through at the center we have a tsuba Aid and Hussein she is a health promotion officer from Karissa County thank you so much and of course to my immediate left she is amol hair Haroon from casual alliance organization just coming into you to just help us better understand all about a menstrual health hygiene and remember on the 28th of May we'll be marking the world menstrual hygiene day and the theme for this year is empowerment and the slogan that is being a long that comes along with it is no more limits a less empower women and girls through good so do good to try and help that woman that daughter that sister that cousin or even wife that you are with ignore during this time help them feel better help them feel comfortable by learning especially you as a man you might find yourself in a situation where you have to help your best significant other or your daughter to know just go about this time of the month you need to be able to be you need to be informed to be in a position to help them come at the time well we do hope you can keep following this conversation you can also talk to us it because to you know any questions or clarifications or feedback that you may be having regards to administration but we thought we want to call it a day here in studio it is a minute past 10:00 but thank you so much for being part of good morning Kenya be sure to join us again tomorrow morning right here from 6:00 a.m. all 3:00 to 10:00 a.m. for nothing but the best of a breakfast shows my name is Jerome boy do enjoyed the rush the rest of the day and have a lovely rest of your day god bless

Methew Wade

One thought on “Good Morning Kenya| Menstrual Hygiene”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *