Long Covid-19 holiday cuts schoolgirls from free pad facility
Government says it has no means to continue rolling out its free sanitary wear facility to school going girls during the current Covid-19 induced school holiday.
Speaking in parliament recently, Justice minister and leader of the house Ziyambi Ziyambi said the continuation of the facility is not feasible when the girls are not attending school.
Ziyambi was asked by Seke-Chikomba MP, Tatenda Mavetera on what measures government has put in place to ensure school going girls continued to benefit from the facility during the current Covid-19 period.
Said Ziyambi who was standing in for Primary and Secondary Education minister, “…The proposal is very difficult to implement. When learners are at home, you do not know where to follow them.
“The programme was targeted for the period when schools are open that then they are able to access, unless if an arrangement which I will request the relevant ministry to find out whether when schools are closed, they can then have a mechanism of those learners going to school to access the sanitary wear.
“The policy generally is; it is agreed that they have to access the sanitary wear.”
Bulawayo proportional representation MP Thokozani Khupe said research has shown that 72% of girls in rural areas do not use commercial sanitary wear but resort to unhygienic means.
Khupe also said 62% of girls miss school every month while menstruating.
Under the country’s laws, Treasury is compelled to release funds to ensure the provision of menstrual health facilities to promote menstrual health.
Zimbabwean schools have remained closed following the continued spike in Covid-19 infections throughout the country.
In his 2020 budget, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube set aside $200 million for the procurement of sanitary wear for schoolgoing girls with priority directed at less privileged rural primary and secondary learners from Grade Four to Upper Six.