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Maira,* a female teacher at a government school in Zanzibar, says that menstrual hygiene is still a big challenge for girls. “Most of our female students come from poor families; many of them cannot afford to buy sanitary pads,” she says. At her school they have a small budget to buy menstrual hygiene products as well as pain relief, which helps to keep girls in school during their monthly cycle, but most of the ti...
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Afaafa* (19 years) had her first period almost six years ago. She remembers her mother took her from their home in Mwembe njugu (near Zanzibar Town) to Makadara, where her mother’s best friend Bi. Maimuna lives. She stayed there for nine days learning about the importance of cleanliness during menstruation and what could be used to manage the menstrual flow – including using pieces of cloth, which she was told should...
Statement
Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, 23 May 2020. Last November, the world convened in Nairobi to celebrate the tremendous gains of the past 25 years in advancing the health and rights of women and girls. With a deep sense of urgency, purpose and hope, leaders from around the world – from presidents to the grassroots, from refugees to royalty, f...

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