By Julie Pascault (Courtesy of AHF)
AHF staff in Zambia provided 800 free sanitary pads to 200 school-aged girls, 7,200 condoms, and wellness check-ups accompanied by HIV tests during a recent visit to a community in need in Chisamba – a small rural town outside the capital city of Lusaka.
“Reusable sanitary pads are very much needed in these vulnerable communities, as many girls can miss up to 20% of school days due to a lack of feminine hygiene products,” said AHF Zambia Country Program Manager Dr. Mabvuto Katwizi Kango. “And unfortunately, many are also forced to drop out of school because of unplanned pregnancies or child marriages, so the donations of pads and condoms address multiple important issues.”
“The donation of pads could not have come at a better time than now with our girls starting to come back to school after staying away for a long time due to COVID-19 health restrictions,” added Grace Banda, Board Secretary for Chisamba District Education. “The pads will go a long way in preventing further absenteeism from school among girls.”
In addition to the donations, AHF staff was on hand to deliver health services, including HIV testing, check-ups on blood pressure and blood sugar, and an information station where community members could access health education as needed.
AHF has been working in Zambia since 2007 and currently provides HIV care and treatment to 87,103 registered clients.