On May 31 2023, Wesnet and the Menstrual Hygiene Management Hub in Malawi commemorated the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Day which falls on 28 May every year.

The event which was commemorated under the theme “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030” took place in the area of Traditional Authority Njema in Mulanje district where various menstrual hygiene related items where donated to cyclone Freddy survivors who are still residing in camps in the district.

Gracing the event, director of sexual reproductive health in the Ministry of Health Dr Fannie Kachale said this year’s theme is a call to remind all stakeholders to undertake various initiatives that will ensure that all women and girls manage their menses with dignity by 2030.

She said that government will continue committing herself to priotise and invest in menstrual health and hygiene so that dignity and sanitary kits are made available to women and girls.

Said Kachale: “Government of Malawi has included menstrual hygiene management in the design of sanitation facilities in public institutions that act as change rooms for women and girls. The Ministry of Health wants to take advantage of this commemoration to share information, challenges, lessons learnt so that there is coordinated efforts amongst stakeholders in menstrual health.”

In his remarks, Wesnet Executive Director, Willies Mwandira said there is a need to break the silence on issues of menstrual hygiene and that the culture where both parents get actively involved in helping girls to appropriately manage their menstruation has to be promoted.

He, however, thanked members of the menstrual hygiene hub for the well-coordinated event citing that creating the right structures and platforms and practicing collaborative behaviours will enable stakeholders to deliver on the desired goals of the Malawi Vision 2063 in regards to sanitation and hygiene.

Representing the girl child, Tereza Namizinga, a form three student at Muloza Community Day Secondary School said the devastating cyclone Freddy destroyed a lot of infrastructure that help learners to clean themselves up during menstruation and that with livelihoods being affected, most learners are not able to purchase sanitary pads.

Among the donated items were buckets, clothes, beddings, sanitary pads (both reusable and disposable) soap etc.

Organisations that made this year’s event possible include: Water Aid, AHF Malawi, Supreme Pads, TinaPads, CAHESH, Self Help Africa, Grace Pads, UNICEF, World Vision Malawi, MAGGA, Red Cross Malawi, Plan International, GENET, Water for People, WHH and APHRC