Free Sanitary Pads motion tabled in Botswana ParliamentBy MTOKOZISI DUBE in Gaborone | Monday, April 30 2012 at 15:18
Botswana’s Leader of Opposition in Parliament Butsalo Ntuane wants government to hand out free sanitary pads to impoverished females students in public schools in order to promote personal hygiene among tem.
The Member of Parliament for Gaborone West believes awareness on healthy habits should be created among young girls.
Mr Ntuane, who tabled the motion in Parliament last week, is convinced that providing free sanitary napkins to girl students every month will ensure menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls and they will not be affected by bacterial infection and cervical cancer.
“The issue of sanitary pads is as critical as access to toilet paper,” Ms Tebogo Sepheko, a civil servant, told Africa Review.
“There are some people especially in the rural areas who cannot afford pads so that would be a good move if government implements it.”
The Gaborone City Council Social Welfare office, however, revealed that welfare baskets prepared for the needy included sanitary pads.
But Mr Ntuane is doubtful that these are enough and added that public health centres should also have free sanitary pads.
He said that the lack of sanitary pads for school going children can lead to absenteeism at school or promote the use of unsafe materials like tissue paper and old newspapers.
Medical researchers have discovered that incorrect usage of sanitary wear may cause a huge risk of infection and pelvic inflammatory diseases.
It has previously been stated that using materials such as newspapers and toilet paper is unhealthy as they are made of pulp material which can enter the female reproductive organs and infect the pelvic area – one of the causes for cervical cancer.
Use of papers can also cause burning during urination due to infection.
These infections can lead to more fatal health hazards like cervical cancer, which Mr Ntuane believes will later cost government in treating the victims.
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