YOUNG girls from
Edlelweni Primary School received information on how to handle the developmental stages of puberty from Life Health Care Private Hospital staff recently.
The initiative was part of the Girl Child Campaign in South Africa in assisting girls from disadvantaged background who miss school due to a lack of sanitary towels.
The girls were given an opportunity to interact with the nurses to help defuse the stigma attached to speaking about menstruation.
Life Health Care unit manager Wendy Giyose encouraged parents to speak with girls from the age of 10 years about their development and puberty.
Giyose called on community members and local businesses to donate sanitary towels to the cause.
Teacher Thembakazi Ncedani said the school had problems with pupils missing class but with the assistance of Life Helath Care Hospital, the problem had subsided.
She said a lack of information also made pupils afraid to disclose the fact that they were menstruating to their parents. While schools should inform pupils from an early age on how to handle this, “parents must also play their role by speaking to their children and not merely leave it up to teachers”.
Thozama Hoffman from Mlungisi said she lived with her 12-year-old daughter.
Hoffman said she was forced to talk to her daughter after finding out that a 10-year-old girl from her area was pregnant.
“I was shocked, I told my child everything she needed to know, including going to the clinic for prevention if she was sexually active.”