Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Initiative launches digital tool to boost access to menstruation packs

Empower Her Initiative has launched a digital tool to boost access to menstrual packs among the disadvantaged groups.

The tool developed by Terra, a digital solutions firm allows beneficiaries to make flexible payments in order to access the packs.

Nancy Nyaleso, the initiative’s Executive Director said the intervention baptised ‘’Save Now Pay Later’ comes in to bridge the gap on access to sanitary packs.

Some people may not be in a position to get the Sh60 or Sh80 at once to buy the pads. But the system allows them to pay as low as Sh10 into their account

Nancy Nyaleso, Executive Director, Empower Her Initiative

“Statistics indicate that about 65 per cent of women cannot access sanitary pads, and another one million girls miss four to five school days every month due to menstruation. This is what we are coming in to bridge,” she said.

According to Nyaleso, many of the affected women cannot afford the packs. However, the flexible payment provided by the new system will help bridge the gap.

“Some people may not be in a position to get the Sh60 or Sh80 at once to buy the pads. But the system allows them to pay as low as Sh10 into their account,” she said.

How the tool works

Beneficiaries are registered through the digital system, where an account is created for them. They are then provided with digitised wristbands or smart cards.

They can then top up their accounts by using a pay bill number. Every time they need the packs, they go to approved vendors with gadgets which they tap to pay for the packs.

According to Collins Muriuki, Co-Founder of Terra, apart from the flexible payment, the system has other benefits such as ease of accessing the pads, as well as time saving.

To ensure easy access, the vendors will be stationed in primary schools, and specific centres where beneficiaries can easily access.

“This same system is being used in school feeding program in Nairobi, as well as other sectors, and it has proved successful,” said Muriuki.

Panel discussion during the launch of the ‘Save Now Pay Later’ program

Ms Nyaleso said the project will initially be implemented in eight counties in western Kenya, before being rolled out countrywide.

Empower Her Initiative is a player in the manufacture of sanitary packs, and has distributed over 15, 000 packs.

Nyaleso said the program however targets sanitary packs from other manufacturers as well, with beneficiaries having options within what they can afford.

Access to sanitary pads has direct correlation to teenage pregnancies and school dropouts, hence this intervention is a huge step in addressing these challenges

Diana Moreka, HIVOS Voice Project Manager

She however said there are talks with manufacturers of the sanitary packs to provide waivers and subsidies so as to extend benefits to the users.

“We also have partners who buy to give. So when they buy, we can subsidise to benefit the beneficiaries of the program,” she said.

Diana Moreka, HIVOS Voice Project Manager said the project is a big boost in the fight against teenage pregnancies in the country.

“Access to sanitary pads has direct correlation to teenage pregnancies and school dropouts, hence this intervention is a huge step in addressing these challenges,” she said.

Kevine Omollo
Lake Region Bulletin is your one stop multi-media platform for news from Lake Region Counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet. Email: komollo@lakeregionbulletin.co.ke omollokevine@gmail.com

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