As the the world commemorates the World Menstrual Hygiene Day whose theme is ‘It’s time for action’ Thursday, the Ministry of Health has launched the Menstrual Hygiene Policy and Strategy 2019-2024.
This policy is meant to create an enabling environment for implementation of menstrual hygiene and management interventions in Kenya.
Speaking in Kiambu County, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the policy will also ensure women and girls have access to safe and hygienic products.
“I am delighted to inform you that Kenya is the first Nation, to develop a stand-alone MH Policy through a multi-stakeholder consultative and inclusive process. We
acknowledge the contribution of the stakeholders, in developing this policy and strategy and in advancing the menstrual health and hygiene agenda in Kenya.”He said.
The World Menstrual Hygiene Day also called MHD or MH Day is an annual awareness day to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM). It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014 and aims to benefit women and girls worldwide.
The day is meant to serve as a platform to bring together individuals, organisations, social businesses and the media to create a united and strong voice for women and girls around the world, helping to break the silence about menstrual hygiene management.
The objectives of MHD include to address the challenges and hardships many women and girls face during their menstruation; to highlight the positive and innovative solutions being taken to address these challenges; to catalyse a growing, global movement that recognizes and supports girls’ and women’s rights and build partnerships among those partners on national and local level; to engage in policy dialogue and actively advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into global, national and local policies and programmes and to create an occasion for media work, including social media.
Menstrual Hygiene Day makes audible and visible a growing movement that promotes body literacy and autonomy, as well as gender equality.
May 28 has symbolic meaning. May is the 5th month of the year and women menstruate an average of 5 days every month. Also, the menstrual cycle averages 28 days.