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UETCL DISTRIBUTES REUSABLE SANITARY TOWELS TO PUPILS IN APAC DISTRICT

Female pupils in primary seven, six and five in Apac district have received reusable sanitary towels from the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) to support and keep the girl in school during the menstruation period.

The project in memory of UETCL late staff Ms. Filder Olobo Amito is intended to reduce the number of girls who choose not to attend classes for 3 to 5 days in a month and even drop out of school because of the stigma and embarrassment they feel during their menstrual period.

Seventeen primary schools in the district each with a representation of 10 pupils were invited to a one day training held at St. Thomas Church of Uganda, Apac District. The girls not only received but were given a skill on how to make re-usable sanitary towels. The training also attracted Head teachers, senior female teachers, senior health workers, vocation training institution and the public.

Each pupil received 3 sanitary towels, 3 pairs of nickers and a bar of soap to ensure good hygiene. The senior female teachers received extra materials and tools to pass on the skill to other pupils in their respective schools.

The sanitary towels are very affordable and reliable and can be used for twelve months. It can take an hour on a hot day and 2 hours on a mild day for it to dry and be reused. The sanitary towels that were distributed don't leak, are very convenient and will go a long way in addressing the challenges faced by school girls and women in general.

UETCL invested Shs20 million in purchasing materials, making of the towels and training of the pupils. The project which is to roll in all power transmission projects affected areas is meant to empower and facilitate quality education for the girl child. The outreach was spearheaded by the public relations section, facilitated by UETCL staff and appreciated by APAC District Local Government.

A Survey conducted by St. Mark institute of Health Sciences in 2004 revealed that "the biggest number of girl child school dropouts is because of inconveniences during their menstrual cycles." The survey notes that absenteeism leads to poor academic performance and subsequent drop out of school.

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