Youths in Kilifi County have asked the county government to develop clear guidelines on menstrual hygiene terming it a critical challenge to most of the youths.
The youths are also calling for the domestication of the menstrual hygiene management policy in a bid to address the challenges facing young and adolescent girls within the county.
Among the challenges cited include limited county budgetary allocations to ensure schools have gender friendly WASH facilities.
“There has been inadequate or no menstrual waste disposal options such as bins or incinerators, ” one of the youths who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
The source further states that there is need for the county government to engage youths fully and meaningfully.
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At the same time Connect to retain programs officer Kenfaith Karuta said recent findings indicates that Kilifi County has witnessed an upsurge of sexually active young girls aged 9 years and above.
“As an organisation we are coming up with evidence based intervention so that we can craft age appropriate messages in order to empower young girls on sexual reproductive health,” said Karuta.
Meanwhile, a lobbyist who spoke on condition of anonymity said menstrual hygiene is a pertinent issue in Kilifi County.
According to the lobbyist, MHM requires a multifaceted approach adding that gender and Sexual Health and Reproductive Health is a fundamental right as stipulated in various policy documents.
“MHM requires a joint approach by the various actors,” said the source.
Dream Achievers Youth Organisation Executive director Seif Jira said in partnership with the county government of Mombasa they have set up a youth friendly facility at Ziwa La Ngombe to address the issue of sexual reproductive health among young girls.
He notes that the facility will go a long way in addressing some of the issues affecting youths within Mombasa County.
Said Jira “Our aim is to link young people so that they can access sexual reproductive health services. Health and reproduction plays a pivotal role in the development of young people.
On her part, Irene Mambo a youth from Moving the Goal Post in Kilifi county said most of the schools do not have a conducive environment for young girls.
“Most of the WASH Facilities in schools such as the toilets do not meet the health standards as required by the government,” noted Irene.
At the same time, Leila Abdulkheir lashed out at Kilifi County government saying it has not prioritised menstrual hygiene.
“Kilifi County has not put in place measures to ensure menstrual hygiene management is a priority,” Said Abdulkheir
The conference held in Kilifi County brought together youth leaders and lobbyists from both Mombasa and Kilifi county.