Fatma Rashid is in Standard Seven at Kisosoro Primary School in Tanga. She is one of the beneficiaries of the sanitary pads through the Timiza Malengo project, supported by the Global Fund programme. “Prior to receiving the sanitary pad, my mother could not afford to buy me monthly sanitary pads, hence I used the normal ways of containing the situation which is not safe and comfortable,” she says.
Now with the reusable sanitary pads, my mother doesn’t have to incur any costs prior to before. When you use them for one month you can reuse them next month and next and they are clean.
“Before receiving the reusable sanitary pads at school, I used to feel uncomfortable at school during menstrual days, sometimes I did not attend school during those days. When a teacher points at you in class, I’m no longer afraid of standing up comfortably to participate in various sports at school,” she says.
To Fatma, the provision of sanitary pads has made her attend classes without missing a single day. It has also increased her confidence.
For Fatma, what is more, important is that even boys have been educated about menstrual hygiene. “I’m happy that even boys have been educated about menstrual hygiene. In the past there was no awareness, especially on the part of boys, something which increased the stigmatization of girls,” she says. But these days, Fatma says, they are receiving support even from boys.
She calls upon girls to regard menstruation as a normal thing since every girl must go through it. “Menstruation is not a disease,” she says.