Ministry receives 171,000 sanitary towels donation for learners

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and Permanent Secretary Belio Kipsang. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The Ministry of Education has received 171,000 sanitary towels donation from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa.

The donation will benefit vulnerable girls in primary and Junior Secondary Schools in line with the government's effort to keep learners in school.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that the sanitary towels will make a significant difference in the lives of young girls in schools. 

"The sanitary towels intervention is required to address the needs of many girls at menstrual age in schools whose greatest challenge is absenteeism related to their reproductive health issues," Machogu said.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang represented Machogu during the handover ceremony in Nairobi.

The CS said the provision of sanitary towels to needy girls has reduced dropout rates and improved their performance. 

He announced that the government, in the current financial year, has allocated Sh940 million to the sanitary towels programme.

Machogu noted that this is the highest allocation since the launch of the programme.

"Due to this programme, we have evidence that girls now enjoy equal access to quality and relevant education like boys, irrespective of their socio-economic status," he said.

Deborah Miller, the Consular General, US Embassy said that every girl deserves a chance to learn and thrive.

She however said that menstruation is a hurdle for girls to achieve their dreams.

"Girls miss school, up to 20 per cent each month, simply because of lack of affordable sanitary products. Some drop out altogether, and sadly, others are forced to resort to harmful practices to manage their menstruation," Miller said.

She regretted the situation impacts not only the girls education, but professional future and Kenya’s development as a whole.

"This comprehensive approach goes beyond education - we’re focused on breaking down barriers in all aspects of life. When women enter the workforce, everyone benefits. In fact, studies show that for every $1 invested in menstrual hygiene in the workplace, there’s a $1.54 return. That’s simply good business for everyone," said Miller.