• Sun. May 26th, 2024

Raising awareness among journalists on menstrual hygiene management


Dec 24, 2023

GITEGA December 21st (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS organized in Gitega (center of the country), last week, an awareness meeting for community radios on the importance of management menstrual hygiene so that journalists can convey messages relating to that theme through different reports.

The advisor in the department of health promotion, care demand, community and environmental health “DPS-DSCE”, Mrs. Angélique Cishahayo, said that menstrual hygiene constitutes an important element for health and well-being of women and adolescent girls. She explained that its management includes the use of soap and water to wash the body, as often as necessary and access to adequate sanitary napkins and facilities to use and manage menstrual flow devices.

                                                                                                View of the participants


Mrs. Cishahayo also noted that adolescent girls and some women face multiple problems including lack of means to obtain sanitary materials, limited access to sanitary napkins, as well as lack of important information regarding their own body, their health, their rights to education, etc.

Burundi does not have any document that addresses the issue of menstruation and menstrual hygiene management, even though menstruation can have an impact on girls’ participation in school.

According to Mrs. Cishahayo, more than 78.2% of girls feel stressed and tired at school during their periods. She also specified that 44.6% of them feel rejected and stigmatized by their classmates, especially males.

The absenteeism of girls during menstruation is also undeniable, she mentioned, adding that 70.2% of girls and 88.3% of principals and teachers confirmed the recurring absences of girls during their menstruation.

It is for that reason that Mrs. Cishahayo called on journalists to contribute to improving the health of women and girls by raising awareness in communities and schools in favour of good menstrual hygiene management.

According to the head of the national community health promotion service, Mrs. Espérance Niyonzima, menstruation remains taboo in many cultures and menstrual blood is even considered impure or dirty in certain cultures, whereas menstruation is an essential sign of good reproductive health, she said.

Mrs Niyonzima added that some women and girls still do not access water and sanitation facilities during their periods, in order to properly manage their menstrual hygiene due to taboos, while poor hygiene management Menstruation causes health risks, including infections of the genital tract.

In fact, she specified that women and girls suffering from incontinence, obstetric fistula or those who have undergone female genital mutilation are more exposed.

Note that the journalists who participated in that meeting are committed to making their contributions by raising awareness among the people, particularly those in rural areas, so that they know how to properly manage their menstruation.