The UN refugee Agency UNHCR and AFRIpads have just begun the largest rollout of reusable sanitary pad distribution and Menstrual Health Management (MHM) sensitization of refugees in Uganda. The project aims at benefiting some 150,000 women and girls in south-western Uganda. With this, UNHCR Uganda is putting critical spotlight on the challenges refugee women and girls face during their periods. In addition to providing the AFRIpads kit to refugee women and girls, they have been providing MHM capacity building since late September to equip hundreds of NGO field staff with the appropriate knowledge and tools dedicated to breaking taboo and stigma around the topic of menstruation.
The project is in response to a 2018 UNHCR and AFRIpads pilot study in South West Uganda, which found that:
- The number of girls that reported missing school during their period was cut in half when using AFRIpads reusable pads
- 84% of refugee schools girls indicating they would prefer to use AFRIpads over disposable pads