Stakeholders are considering establishing a factory to manufacture sanitary pads in a bid to help girls from poor families in Busia County.
The proposal, which dominated the Busia Menstrual Hygiene workshop, followed media reports that girls are engaging in prostitution for as low as Sh100 to but the sanitary towels.
Addressing players drawn from the health sector, children protection and a delegation from the county government led by deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, Amref project officer Beatrice Ocholla asked the devolved unit to consider constructing a factory to complement their efforts to install one by June next year.
“Well, this is a task that calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders. We are determined to set one factory by mid next year,” she said.
Ampath officer Ken Odhiambo called for the installation of sanitary pad dispensers in schools and enactment of laws by the assembly to help with sustainability of the initiative.
Busia school heads association representative Francisca Okumu said the Ministry of Education was supplying five disposable pads per girl every term and urged the county government to supplement ministry efforts by adding more towels.
“There is need for parents to share with girls how best to manage the menstrual cycle. This should not be left to teachers alone,” she said.
Rural Education Economic Program director Mary Makokha, who has been spearheading children protection initiatives in the county, called for more efforts to help them realise their goals.
“When we highlighted these issues a fortnight ago there was a lot of negative energy from some quarters.
“I am happy that one of the key stakeholders; the county government, is ready to help save our children because cases of adolescent abortion in Butula Sub-county have been on the rise,” she said.
Deputy Governor Mulomi thanked Amref for a Sh200,000 donation to the sanitary pads kitty and appealed to other stakeholders to follow suit.
County Director of Medical Services Janerose Ambuchi said Sh160 million is needed for distribution of pads thus the need for a lasting solution.
The meeting also aimed at taming the rising cases of HIV infection in the county with a prevalence rate of 6.7 per cent as per 2016 statistics.
A total of 154 infections among girls were reported with 108 deaths recorded.