UNITED Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) PNG Youth Advocate, and Miss Pacific Islands 2018-2019 Leoshina Kariha says girls and women need to have access to proper materials and facilities in order to manage their menstruation.
Speaking during the Menstrual Hygiene Management Day 2019 awareness at Situm Primary School last Friday, she told the school’s 1055 students that menstruation was a biological process and there was nothing to be ashamed of.
“When we have our period, we worry about staining our uniforms, some girls even have sharp pains in the stomach, dizziness, diarrhoea, vomiting, it is hard to manage our period when we do not have the materials or right facilities to do so,” Kariha said.
“That is why in schools or even in the workplace, period-friendly toilets are important.
“In PNG, Unicef supports the Government to address menstruation hygiene management (MHM) by promoting period-friendly toilets in schools to ensure girls remain in school during menstruation.
“These toilets can be used at any time of the day, they have locks for the safety of our girls and women, they have good light, water, soap and bins to throw away used period products like pads and tampons.”
Menstrual Hygiene Day, which falls on May 28 is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all women and girls. The theme for this year is “It’s time for action! Get period smart”.
Menstruation is when girls begin to release blood and tissue from inside the uterus, it is part of the reproductive cycle.
It normally takes five days for it to finish.
Girls and women can release six tablespoons of blood every month.
“Unicef works with local communities, schools and governments to research and provide information on menstruation, promote positive hygiene habits and break down taboos,” Kariha said.
She acknowledged the support of the European Union (EU) that had been supporting the water and sanitation hygiene sector for many years.
“Water and sanitation hygiene are core elements in menstrual hygiene management,” she said.
“It provides sustainable access to safe drinking water and promote basic sanitation and key hygiene practices.” The National
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