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African governments being asked to supply sanitry pads to schoolgirls

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Posted at 9:33 AM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 09:33:29-04

Menstrual hygiene has emerged as a serious, and often emotional, subject in Africa. Some are demanding that governments supply free sanitary pads to schoolgirls who often are at risk of dropping out because of embarrassment.

Kenya's president last month authorized his government to supply sanitary pads to teenage girls at public schools nationwide. But Uganda recently backed away from a similar promise.

Poverty forces many girls across sub-Saharan Africa to improvise pads from fabric or plant material, and some choose to skip school instead.

The United Nations says one in 10 African schoolgirls misses school during menstruation.

Efforts are growing in a number of countries to address the issue. One Uganda project makes pads from waste paper and papyrus and sells them at half the price of imported ones.