KILIFI COUNTY CHAPTER
The Coastal Jewel
The advocacy issue adopted by the Y-ACT Kilifi Chapter is the inadequate access to information and services on menstrual hygiene management within the county. Thousands of young girls and women in Kilifi County have inadequate access to MHM information and services which makes them susceptible to period poverty, teenage pregnancies, period shaming, and poor menstrual health outcomes hence limiting the dignity, body integrity and overall life opportunities for women and girls.
According to a survey done by Zana Africa in 2017 in Kilifi County, 39% of Adolescents girls received their first information on menstruation from teachers and 38% from friends. 89% of the girls felt the need to keep their periods a secret from everyone and 67% felt uncomfortable and ashamed of their bodies during menstruation. As relates to menstrual hygiene products, only 21% felt they had enough pads to manage their period comfortably.
As such, the overarching goal is to have MHM considered as a priority issue by the county departments of health, gender, and education and to expedite the domestication of Menstrual Hygiene Management guidelines. The establishment of MHM coalitions with the unequivocal inclusion of the youth will in the turn increase access to MHM information and services for young people in Kilifi county.
The Baseline Meaningful Youth Engagement Baseline Scoring was a key highlight in Kilifi County in the month of September. While interactions between youth advocates and policymakers are often marred by challenges such as generational gaps, the process which employs the use of the MYE SCORECARD certainly broke down this barrier. Through this forum, great strides were made in advancing accountability and meaningful youth participation in the policy processes of Kilifi County.