Panafrican News Agency

M-pesa Foundation to improve 30,000 girls' menstrual health

Kilifi, Kenya (PANA)  - M-PESA Foundation Monday  committed $202,303  to improve menstrual hygiene among teenage girls as part of Safaricom’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Safaricom is the leading telco in East Africa, with 38 million subscribers in Kenya.

M-PESA Foundation is Safaricom's money transfer service.

The Foundation, in partnership with NGO Huru International, will distribute sanitary towels and offer sexual and reproductive health education to 30,000 teenage girls in Kilifi, Siaya and Murang’a counties.

Kilifi County is in the coast region while Murang and Siaya counties are in central and western Kenya.

“We have in the recent past seen stories of teenage girls especially from disadvantaged backgrounds trading sex for sanitary towels said,'' Les Baillie, Executive Director, M-PESA Foundation.

“It is a sad state of affairs when teenage girls are reduced to making such compromises to access a basic need,” he added

The programme will also create awareness among 10,000 adolescent boys on menstruation, sexual reproductive health and life skills and enable 57 community-based mentors to support the adolescents.

“It is our hope that with these interventions, we will safeguard teenage girls in Kenya through improved menstrual hygiene and adolescent sexual reproductive health education,” Baillie said.

Statistics by Procter and Gamble indicate that 65 per cent of women and girls in Kenya cannot afford sanitary pads while 42 per cent of school-going girls have never used sanitary pads.

Most of them seek unhygienic homemade alternatives such as rags, pieces of mattress, blankets, tissue paper and cotton wool.

Last year, the M-PESA Foundation provided three months’ supply of sanitary towels to 800,000 girls who were sitting for their final year national examinations.

-0-  PANA   DJ/RA  7Dec2020