BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
DR Nemia Bainivalu, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Service (MHMS) has called on the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) to consider procuring re-usable pads and provide them at a subsidised rate for girls in every school across Solomon Islands.
He made this call seeing the importance of the Menstrual Hygiene Management for female students in every school in the country.
Bainivalu suggested that this idea can be achieved through including training programmes on the production of re-usable cloth pads in the curriculum of the Rural Training Centre (RTCs), at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) as a training programme and at other identified locally owned enterprises to enable the MEHRD to procure these needed materials and distribute them in every school.
He said this need indicates huge potential of inter-ministerial convergence and collaboration, especially between the MEHRD, MHMS and the Ministry of Women Youth Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) to come together on this important issue to address it and help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“I am willing to discuss with my counterpart in MEHRD and work a way forward and am willing to work with donors and at how production of sanitary pads can be made into a productive social enterprise benefiting our females.
“I appeal to MEHRD to seriously consider providing re-usable pads in schools may be at a subsidised rate. This will hugely improve the convenience of girls,” Bainivalu said.
Moreover, he conveyed huge appreciation to the United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to have the Menstrual Hygiene Day recognised in Solomon Islands.
“I request them to provide support in raising the profile of this issue, support us with curriculum development on the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and take forward the recommendations from the study.”