Africa-Press – Lesotho. The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has held the first ever National Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) Day as part of the commemoration of the global
menstrual hygiene day. Menstrual hygiene day is commemorated annually on May 28. This year’s theme was ‘Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030’.
The multi-stakeholder forum held on Thursday was aimed at discussing the status, bottlenecks and opportunities to accelerate menstrual hygiene in Lesotho as
well as develop strategic partnerships and synergies. Speaking at the event, on behalf of the Minister of Health, Hon Semano Sekatle, Hon. Motlohi Maliehe said; “The day is aimed at bringing individuals, ministries and
stakeholders to observe menstrual health and view it as a normal fact of life. We should also re-affirm commitment to manage menstrual health. We have heard from
stories that a lot of people tend to lack information on menstrual health and tend to use old clothes and thus managing menses negatively, a situation that puts
many prone to challenges attend school regularly,” he said. He added that solution should be to develop a road map for menstrual hygiene in the country,
develop policies to regulate Menstrual Health and Hygiene in schools and public spaces, improved water supply and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) systems.
On behalf of the youth, Tlotliso Masiu stated that addressing the issue of menstruation is taking a step forward. He mentioned that among other things girls tend to skip
school in fear of being laughed at, blaming this to the fact that many schools have no menstrual hygiene rooms, 20% of population have no access to clean
water and there is lack of building infrastructure which leads to no access to safe rooms for women to use during their menstruation. Masiu enquired men to educate themselves on the matter, take a major step to help girls feel
comfortable in their own bodies and step in to make menstruation a normal fact of life. While giving her remarks, Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso said over the years, the
effort of making a change in menstrual health issues has been in silos. “Menstruation should be seen as a common everyday fact of life for women and girls.
Girls miss classes because of menstruation. Each and every person should commit to make a change, including Men and boys and they should take part in trainings and messages which engage menstrual health and hygiene,” she noted.