A local sanitary pads manufacturing company has teamed with the Ministry of Education to supply free sanitary towels to schools. Speaking during a media briefing at the company’s headquarters in Mulolongo, African Cotton Managing Director Khalil Anjarwalla said they would distribute free sanitary towels to 4114 schools across the country.

He said that the company was given the tender in December last year after lobbying by Girl Child Network (GCD) and other stakeholders in empowering the girl child. Mr. Anjarwalla said this programme, which targets around 900,000 girls, will support the manufacturing sector, a key pillar under Vision 2030, besides crafting job opportunities to Kenyans.

He said the project was pushed by statistics from the ministry showing that girls miss three to four days every month due to menses. “A report from the Ministry of Education shows that in each month a girl misses 3-4 days brought about by menses. We saw a need to partner with the ministry to eradicate this problem,” said Mr Anjarwalla.

The sanitary towels branded as African Cotton Flora Sanitary Pad are made from local cotton and has wings to enhance absorption of the menstrual fluid. It comes with special underwear that provides comfort to the girl child, he said. It is supplied by GCD, an umbrella organisation that brings together 315 organisations as well as members interested in the welfare of the girl child.

GCD will offer training to the girls on how to use the towels, while the government will fund the project as African Cotton distributes the towels to schools. Forty-four schools in Nairobi have so far benefited from the programme, which had Nairobi Province as its pilot project. The next phase will target Coast and Rift Valley. Each girl will get three packets of Super Sanitary Towels and six normal ones. END

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