Bomet County and Procter & Gamble (P&G) have entered into a partnership to educate 45,000 mothers on maternal healthcare and provide 35,000 sanitary pads and life skills education to keep girls in school.
Bomet County and P&G signed a 5 year MOU that will see the two partner on the Mother and Baby Healthcare Program which will educate 45,000 new mothers in hospitals on issues of immunization, skin care, sleep and breast feeding. In addition, H.E Laboso launched P&G’s Always Keeping Girls in School Program in which the company will provide over 35,000 sanitary pads to school going girls from Bomet County by giving them a year’s supply of sanitary pads, puberty education and financial literacy.
Kenya has reported infant mortality rate of 36 maternal deaths per 1,000 people attributed to obstructed labour, infections, haemorrhage and high blood pressure. The infant mortality rate in Kenya has been reducing over the years attributed to better access to health care as well as access to information on vaccinations.
Many underprivileged girls especially from slums and rural areas use unhygienic alternatives during their menses. These girls use newspapers, leaves, and even have ‘sex for pads’ putting them at a high risk of infections and even unwanted pregnancies.
It is estimated that, about 25% of their school time in a year is lost due to lack of sanitary towels. Always Keeping Girls in School seeks to turn this negative tide by donating sanitary towels to young girls.
P&G Legal Counsel, Government Relations & Public Policy Lead for East Africa, Mr. George Owuor, said: “P&G is invested in the health of Kenya mothers, babies and girls. Bomet as a county, is prioritizing maternal healthcare. This partnership is a natural fit in ensuring the healthy development of babies and the well-being of mothers.”
“We are also very happy and proud to introduce Always Keeping Girls in School Programme to help keep as many girls as possible in school. Sanitary towels are important for all girls. It is a way of contributing to their education as they will be able to attend school during their menstrual periods,” Mr. Owuor added.
On her part, the Governor of Bomet County, Dr. Joyce Laboso, said that her county will work with P&G to improve maternal health care and curb school dropout due to lack of sanitary towels and information on puberty.
“With partners such as P&G, we are confident that Bomet will be the leading light on issues of maternal health and menstrual hygiene. We have advanced plans to build world class maternal health institutions that the people of Bomet deserve.”