UNFPA, the United Nations Reproductive Health and Rights Agency in association with ride-hailing company SafeBoda yesterday launched a menstrual health campaign to raise awareness around the heightened menstruation-related challenges that women and girls are currently facing.
By working with different partners including MSI, PSI and Holicpads, the Personal Health Pharmacy is diversifying the products and brands enlisted in each pharmacy on the platform. Now, women and girls have the opportunity to choose their preferred product when it comes to menstrual health on e-Pharmacy.
The Personal Health Pharmacy can be accessed on the SafeBoda Application. To order for a menstrual health product a user has to have downloaded the SafeBoda app, place an order and pay by cash or SafeBoda credit through mobile money.
The customer is then able to quickly and privately receive the order from any SafeBoda driver within a seven kilometer radius. The e-pharmacy also plans on including a Marie Stopes toll free hotline to connect customers to accurate sexual and reproductive health information if needed.
Sheebah Karungi, a popular Ugandan musician and the founder of Holipads, menstrual pads company has joined the campaign
“Every girl and woman has a stigmatising menstrual story to tell and it’s time to end the stigma, cultural rigidity and norms. It’s time to change the story to menstruation is normal and menstrual health and hygiene is a right through #MyMenstrualStory campaign. Digital platforms like SafeBoda make access and timely delivery easy,” says Sheebah.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on women and girls’ ability to manage their menstruation and their health more than ever. The pandemic-related movement restrictions, health facility closures, stock-outs and supply chain disruptions have affected access to menstrual health and other reproductive health products.
“Even before the pandemic there was a need to expand access to menstrual health products . In Uganda, strong cultural taboos around menstruation and challenges in accessing affordable menstrual supplies, are some of the reasons menstruation often stands in the way of girl empowerment,” says Alain Sibenaler the UNFPA Representative.
“With a click of a button, the Personal Health Pharmacy is an innovative solution to the longstanding menstrual health problem” he further said.
SafeBoda Co-Founder Ricky Rapa Thompson admits that access to menstrual health remains a challenge for many girls and women in Uganda.
“The Menstrual health campaign, through our partnership with UNFPA, MSI, PSI and Holic Pads, is an exciting opportunity to drive necessary conversations about menstrual health while empowering key audiences with faster access to menstrual products through the Personal Health Pharmacies on the SafeBoda app,” Mr. Thompson said.