Opinion leaders in Sheema Municipality have welcomed former Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner Customs, Mr. Dicksons Kateshumbwa’s sanitary pads, saying it has answered many young girls and women’s prayers, after government has been promising to provide free sanitary items in vain.
The feedback comes through days after Mr. Kateshumbwa’s KATESH TEAM was pictured distributing sanitary pads and knickers to girls in Sheema municipality, an activity that attracted public attention.
According to Associate Prof. Meshach Katusiimeh, the Dean Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences & Associate Professor (Governance) at Kabale University, who is a resident of Kagango division, Sheema municipality, sanitary pads are “very expensive” for the local population and getting them is not a crime.
“If you care to find out, you will find that young girls and women use cloth pieces to clean themselves during menstruation and these clothes are non-hygienic. This is an area that is very sensitive and politicians and policy makers need to address. During this COVID time, it was very necessary for these young girls to train on issues of menstrual hygiene and early pregnancy.”
Mr. Herbert Mugumya, a public health specialist and Country Director for Pathfinder International in Uganda argued that what Kateshumbwa did was a necessity because a number of girls have been dropping out of school due to poor menstruation management and others were during the COVID-19 impregnated on their search for money to help them buy pads.
“Katesh did a thorough analysis of the situation and strategically intervened. His support is trending, because it’s impactful. If he becomes a Member of Parliament, he will learn how to do such things better. His campaign has been creative and innovative in addressing common social and economic problems.” He said
He added “We all know many girls drop out of school because of this issue and also, during the COVID-19 pandemic situation, many teenage girls have been made pregnant. Why should this continue? The government that should have offered the help is absent. Any well-wisher offering this support is God sent. We thank Katesh and his friends for the gesture.”
Mrs. Hope Nankunda, a girl child rights advocate says Kateshumbwa’s project came in at a time when thousands of girls in Sheema were going through hard times, with some exchanging bodies for pads after failing to get money for the service.
“Girls needed this service. People who are in position to afford these items will never understand what that girl in the village goes through, not until they interest themselves to get to the ground to meet such girls and listen to their stories. About 1000 girls received both AFRIpads and knickers because the two go hand in hand. There is no woman that can put on a sanitary pad without a knicker. It’s impossible.” Says Mrs. Nankunda