The Namibian government, together with the United Nations, hosted the first Menstrual Health and Hygiene Day for Namibia on Monday.

The event, in Gobabis, 200 km east of the capital Windhoek, was part of the country’s efforts to draw attention to menstrual health and hygiene management.

The day is an important platform to remind stakeholders that all the girls require dignified, safe and private facilities and products for them to remain clean, confident and secure enough to continue with daily activities during menstruation, deputy health minister Juliet Kavetuna said in a statement.

“When girls do not have adequate sanitation facilities and are surrounded by discriminatory social taboos about menstruation, they will continue to be deprived of opportunities to participate freely and comfortably in school, play or other social activities,” she said.

To assist the girl child, Kavetuna said, the government, together with UNICEF, has supported the establishment of Menstrual Hygiene Management Clubs as part of a school-led “Total Sanitation” program.

“Through the 52 clubs which have so far been established, both girls and boys within schools are equipped with knowledge about menstruation and empowered to know the facts about this natural process, while also shunning from the myths and taboos,” she said.

According to the health ministry, women and girls who live in poverty in Namibia do not always have access to sanitary products and are forced to use unsanitary and ineffective materials that can introduce diseases and infections. Enditem


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