#HappyFlow Monday: How can people ensure a #HappyFlow during this lockdown period?

We asked network members how they would advise people to maintain a #HappyFlow during the lockdown period that many countries are facing due to COVID-19.

Mujilowe Ndhlovu

Menstrual hygiene still remains a taboo in many African settings, yet it affects all genders alike. In many parts of the country, especially in rural setting, girls and women are most affected in that they do not have access to/or knowledge of the different types of modern sanitary wear. Currently, the world is experiencing a major setback in all sectors leading to short supply of basic commodities and this includes sanitary wear. Unfortunately, menstrual calendars have not gone on hold during this Covid-19 pandemic and this has caused a loud but silent cry for supplies - especially those to do with sanitation and hygiene.

With this ever increasing demand for water especially during the current lockdown period, life still goes on and it is important that with intermittent water supply, we reduce waste by incinerating or substituting the modern/reusable sanitary wear with disposable or reusable options.

Menstrual health and hygiene still remains each and everyone’s concern and by acting together, by using substitutes, by embracing each other, we can ease the burden borne by women and girls all over.


Margaret Sapazeka

We are presently faced with a global pandemic. Many nations are currently on lockdown. Measures young girls and women can take in ensuring a happy flow in cramped situations are: use of disposable sanitary pads and wipers/tissue/wet cloth to clean the genital area after changing and regular changing of sanitary napkins, although washing these napkins could be a problem and unclean napkins or improperly dried cloth napkins could cause vaginal infections.


Alice Mashinge

Water is key in Menstrual Hygiene Management in many parts of the country - people have challenges in accessing water especially in rural areas. As a way to improve sanitation, women and girls can use menstrual cups as these require little water to clean in comparison to reusable sanitary pads. However most women have not yet embraced the use of the menstrual cup and it's uptake is still low.

Families have to play an active role during water collection in places where water is a challenge. Male involvement in water collection lessens the burden for women. Some challenges are driven from community beliefs. Women are not allowed to participate in household chores including water collection during their period, and this  can be a hindrance to a healthy menstrual period. Community sensitisation towards demstifying menstrutation is necessary for a happier flow. Access to water dignifies women and it's their right.