The Government has been told to divert funds used to purchase condoms to provide free sanitary pads for school girls.
Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo and her Kabondo Kasipul counterpart Eve Obara said this will enhance retention of girls in schools.
Speaking during a funeral function in Rangwe constituency, Gogo expressed concerns over how the Government’s programme of distributing free sanitary towels to school girls is being undertaken.
She proposed that the funds which the government spends on purchasing condoms through the Ministry of Health be diverted to the sanitary pads programme.
The MP argued that many girls from financially disadvantaged families were suffering during their menstrual circles due to lack of sanitary pads.
“The government started a programme of distributing free sanitary pads to school girls, but it is not effective. If they lack money then funds used to buy condoms should be diverted to sanitary pads programme to cushion school girls from the humiliation they suffer after their parents fail to purchase the pads,” said Dr Gogo.
She argued that the use of condom is a choice while menstruation is involuntary.
Dr Gogog urged people who want to have sexual intercourse to visit Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCTs) centres to know their status to avoid sexually transmitted infections.
“Use of condoms is voluntary because somebody can opt to adhere to information from a VCT to be sure of their HIV status before sex. But menstruation for girls is a must,” she added.
Dr Obara urged the Government to intensify distribution of sanitary pads to school girls.
She said this will enable girls to compete well with their male counterparts in academics.
“Girl child education should be given the necessary support by the government and all stakeholders. Educating girls will enable us to have a brighter and productive generation in future,” said Ms Obara.
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