Uganda Red Cross launches campaign to support a girl child stay in school

Tuesday, 09 April 2019 08:13
Students of Mackay Memorial during a presentation at the launch

Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports on the 28th March launched a Country wide initiative dubbed“Keep A Girl in School”  aimed at improving  Menstrual Health Management among primary and secondary school going adolescent girls and young women. 

The event was hosted by Mackay Memorial College – Nateete, one of the model schools in Rubaga division, Kampala.

The initiative under the theme; Empowered Girls, Empowered Mothers, Empowered Communities,is championed by the Uganda Red Cross goodwill ambassadors, who are Volunteers and friends of the Uganda Red Cross. They are passionate about the plight of the girlchild and societal well-being. The team is comprised of role models and dignified mothers in the country with a track record of spearheading impactful community health interventions like the “Mama bag/kits” distribution that contributed to the improvement of birth preparedness, hence arresting maternal mortality in Northern Uganda during the post LRA insurgency.

While officiating at the campaign launch, the Minister of Education and Sports- Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni said the Ministry has implemented a number of interventions aimed at improving Menstrual Health Management among adolescent girls especially those in primary and secondary schools. Key among these being;

A team of the URCS goodwill ambasadors ready to push the campaign
  • Construction of latrines/toilets and washrooms, provision of water harvesting facilities (water tanks), hand washing facilities and provision of sanitary towels (still in few schools on a pilot basis) to support girls manage their menstrual periods with dignity. 
  • Production and dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) materials in form of a Reader, video and a circular on Menstrual Health Management,
  • Training learners and teachers on Menstrual Health Management and on making re-usable sanitary towels from available local materials.
  • Partnership building and sensitisation of the public, parents, teachers and learners and among policy makers on MHM. 

“All the above are initiatives of the Ministry and we are happy to contribute to the wellbeing of children especially the girls to ensure that they remain in school and complete to achieve their dreams.” She added.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Alex Kakooza in his remarks emphasized the challenges that girls go through while in school.

The Guest of honour, Hon. Rosemary Sseninde Speaking at the launch

“Menstruation affects girls in their engagement in a number of activities and may significantly impact on their education if not well managed. A study by International Water and Sanitation Council (2012) estimates that one in ten of girls who experience menstruation in Uganda skips school four to five days a month or completely drops out of school. This is why we need to support partners like Uganda Red Cross as they address this cause through provision of sanitary pads to girls.”

Speaking at the launch, Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary General- Uganda Red Cross Society, said the initiative is part of the Uganda Red Cross Society Health and Social Service Agenda under the WASH interventions. 

“As we strive to promote the dignity of the people we serve, menstrual health management lies at the centre of the WASH interventions we undertake. It plays a crucial role around important issues such as health, education, protection and security of women and adolescent girls both in emergency and in the development context. We are here to mobilise communities to join hands with us so that critical issues affecting the vulnerable populace are addressed. Menstrual Health Management is a fundamental strategy to improving school attendance and retention for the girl child. It is a big agenda of the Red Cross global movement and therefore, I want to thank the Ministry for opening the schools for us to access the vulnerable girls and support them as we continue delivering on our mandate of saving lives and promoting human dignity.” Kwesiga added.

The Secretary General, Mr. Robert Kwesiga and the guest of honour Hon. Rosemary Sseninde,
state minister for primary education visiting the Secrets stall at the exhbition
Read 210 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 08:08

URCS Contacts

Plot 551/555 Rubaga Road.
P.O. Box 494, Kampala Uganda.
Tel:     (256) 414 258701
Tel:     (256) 414 258702
Email: sgurcs@redcrossug.org

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