Zimbabwean Girls using cow dungs as sanitary wears receive pad donation from UK
Following SpotOnNews publication on the plight of teenage girls in Zimbabwe who had resolved to the use of cow dungs as Sanitary wears, some benevolent individuals in London, United Kingdom have assisted these Zimbabweans with over 300 packs of sanitary pads.
The gesture led by Mrs Ogechi Stephanie Okeke, a mid wife of Whipps Cross Maternity Unit, in Waltham Forest based in London, UK together with colleagues and some individuals on Saturday September 3, 2022 distributed packs of pads to persons living with disabilities, teenagers and mothers located in Domboshava community in Zimbabwe.
At a short presentation ceremony, Mrs Okeke said the donation of the pads came as one person’s sincere response to period poverty till the response reached colleagues who were woking under three different ward departments of her outfit namely, Labour Ward, Birth Centre and postnatal ward.
“Some of the pad donations are from friends, sisters and females within my community. I had to speak and share the plight of these girls with managers and fellow staff members at my work place which is Whipps Cross Maternity Unit, in Waltham Forest, London, UK and also with every mother, sister or female friend that I know, including neighbours and church friends,” she said.
According to her, the distribution of the project was done in collaboration with the Elect Devoted Life Ministries led by Apostle Trust Karenyi in Domboshava at Zimbabwe to the affected girls.
“Approximately, 118 of girls and women
benefited from the donated pads. Some of them are living with a physical, mental or medical challenge such as blindness, mobility restriction, epilepsy, mental health problems among others, ” Mrs Okeke said.
She advised the youth to use the pads for its intended purpose and charged them to continue sharing their plights on period poverty for the authorities to know their needs.
“Desmond Tutu once said ‘If we are going to see real development in the world, then our best investment is women’. A girl child or teen should never be made to feel like a second class citizen compared to her counterpart. When a girl grows up in a safe, healthy, loving, well provided and sustainable environment, with access to good education, she becomes a vital key to the development of her economy,” Mrs Okeke added.
She therefore called on Zimbabwe government to pay keen attention to the girls, stressing that, “Menstrual period essentials should not be a luxury but a necessary need that every teenage girl and woman must have affordable access to.”
Mrs Okeke believed that “not only do women carry the incredible ability to nurture life but can fulfil everything they set their hearts and minds on,” thus underscored the need to promote and value the ability of women in order to give them the power to be unlimited..
A Community Health Worker at Chinhamhora Clinic in Mashonaland East Province, Goromonzi District Ward 4, Ms Maideyi Murape thanked Mr and Mrs Okeke for the kind gesture in helping to boost confidence of Zimbabwean girls during their menstrual periods, adding that the pads would go a long way to help the girls to carry on with their daily activities without thinking of leakages and health risks.
She pledged her outfit commitment to continue to educate female teenagers on the health risk involving the use of unhygienic substitute wears during menstrual cycle and urged benevolent organisations and individuals to continue supporting the girls in Domboshava to eradicate period poverty.
The 19-year physically challenge, Constance Dimingo together with her sister, Patience Domingo, an epileptic who had earlier lamented that poverty in the area has made a natural monthly cycle a period of shame received special donation of the pads.
These girls were living with their visually impaired grandmother who had been wrapping dry cow dungs in clothes to absorb their monthly blood flow after their mother died a year ago.
“I last wore a pad before my mother died last year. Now, I have to use anything I can find, cow dung, leaves, newspapers and clothes, to stop the blood from leaking. I wish my mother was still alive to buy me pads and medication for my menstrual pain,” Constance Dimingo lamented.
Blessing Chinawa, one of the beneficiaries who is 13 years of age highlighted the need for the education on menstruation to be deepened for boys to know the menstrual needs of girls while she bemoaned how menstruation retarded girls engagement in spotting activities globally.
www.spotonnews.net on Tuesday, July 12, this year reported that the economic hardship in Zimbabwe has compelled many teenage girls in the rural areas to use cow dungs as sanitary wears in salvaging their monthly cycle.
Some of the rural girls had said the use of sanitary pad was taking a back seat as prices of feminine hygiene products kept increasing, leaving them no choice than to use cow dungs, leaves, papers, clothes and other materials which could stop the blood from leaking.
However, health practitioners have condemned the act as it has dire health effect on the users.