Sanitary Pads to Keep Ugandan Girls in School
The Kasiisi Project Girls Support Program has three main initiatives: keeping girls in school, informed about their sexual health, and economically independent. The Kasiisi Project Girls Support Program has developed initiatives to assist girls in successfully completing their education. These programs include: Supplying sanitary pads to girls who are menstruating; Constructing private ‘girls only’ latrines; Providing accurate health information and mentorship through a female health worker.
In Uganda, drop-out rates are high for rural girls. Up to 80% of girls entering primary school will never complete their primary education. Uganda has the highest teen pregnancy rate in sub-Saharan Africa with over 30% of Ugandan girls having their first baby by the time they are 18. HIV infection rates are 9 times higher in girls than boys the same age and Uganda has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world, 25% of which are from unsafe abortions.
We will keep girls in school which in turn will affect the entire community through training students to act as peer leaders about reproductive health, distribution of sanitary pads to girls in school and construction of girls only private latrines at school. Early data show that the programs have had a remarkable impact.
Early data show that the program has had a remarkable impact. Girls in schools with peer-educators are better informed about reproductive health and more comfortable with discussing issues around menstruation, puberty and relationships with boys. We now have 14 trained women teachers supporting 42 trained student- educators in 14 schools serving 5000 girls. Additionally, data is showing a steady increase in girls attending school since we began distributing sanitary pads in 2006.