Written by Collings Kalivute:
Kasungu District Executive Committee (DEC) members have approved the “Quality Menstrual Health for Women and Girls with Disabilities” project introduced by Umunthu FM.
The project, which aims at addressing the unique needs of women and girls with disabilities, received commendation from Joseph Chiwoza, Director of Education Youth and Sports in Kasungu District, representing the Kasungu District Commissioner.
Chiwoza lauded Umunthu FM for its commitment to this often-overlooked minority group and assured the council’s full support for the project.
“This project is unique in its nature, and we expect a lot from it. As the Kasungu District Executive Committee, we are committed to supporting Umunthu FM,” affirmed Chiooza.
Edward Kuwacha, General Manager of Umunthu FM, expressed confidence that the initiative would help transform societal attitudes and dispel myths surrounding this specific group.
Kuwacha highlighted that, due to limited access to information, women and girls with disabilities resort to using rags, often torn from old cloth, instead of sanitary napkins. He emphasized that this practice significantly contributes to illnesses and infections related to female reproductive health. The introduction of the project aims to address this challenge.
“We observed with concern that women and girls with disabilities, especially those with visual, hearing, and physical impairments, face difficulties in accessing information about relevant Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) policies and guidelines,” he stated.
Wisdom Mseteka, the Kasungu district manager for the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA), welcomed the project, noting that it would bridge the knowledge gap among people with disabilities.
“We believe that this 18-month project will help alleviate stigma among girls and women with disabilities regarding social norms around gender and menstruation, as they will be able to access information related to their hygiene and SRHR easily,” said Mseteka.
The project, targeting to benefit at least 3,000 women and girls with disabilities, is funded by Amplify Change with a grant totaling 59,275 pounds and is expected to make a positive impact in their lives.