As part of AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) 1 million sanitary pads initiative, AHF Zambia donated another 100,000 pads to the country in an official ceremony in Lusaka. This contribution was in addition to the 50,000 given to Zambia during its International Day of the Girl Child event held in September.
First Lady of Zambia Madam Esther Lungu accepted the donation on behalf of her foundation, the Lungu Foundation Trust, which seeks to reduce the vulnerability of the poor using gender-sensitive, participatory and environmentally sustainable approaches to improve their livelihoods.
“It is gratifying that AHF has risen to the challenge and partnered with us for this program,” said Madam Lungu. “Their generous support through another donation of sanitary towels will help stop new HIV infections and keep girls in school.”
AHF Zambia Country Program Manager Dr. Mabvuto Kango handed over the pads and reiterated the benefits something as simple as personal hygiene products can provide.
“Delivering these basic needs to girls improves classroom performance, boosts confidence and encourages self-reliance,” said Dr. Kango. “Unfortunately, girls in Zambia often encounter people who expose them to unforeseen risks. These pads help reduce their need to ask for such products from people who could use that to take advantage of them.”
Many local educators were unaware why so many girls were missing school more often than their male peers. That gap can now be narrowed with more pads available.
AHF has been providing treatment services in Zambia since 2007 and has 67,560 current patients.