22 March 2023

Period drive aiming to empower not only women, but whole communities

Women outside the Murgwanza Hospital in Tanzania. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

6 March 2023

A Melbourne obstetrician and gynaecologist is seeking to offer a longer-term solution to alleviate the effects of period poverty on women in Tanzania.

St Thomas’ Anglican Church Burwood parishioner Dr Amanda Ward has launched the Wezesha Project with Medical Mission Aid. The project is an initiative which seeks to provide education on reproductive health, pregnancy and family planning, as well as offering mentorship and leadership training in public health education to Tanzanian health professionals.

With the help of donations, Dr Ward is also hoping to provide individual Tanzanian women with packs of reusable menstrual pads. She said this would not only address a practical need but would also allow women to continue engaging in important activities. She said women being empowered to remain in school was an important part of breaking cycles of poverty.

Read more: Climate change to blame for widespread hunger and increased violence in Africa

“At the moment when they get their periods they miss school or work for four to five days a month, which is a lot,” she said.

Dr Ward said the project leaders had teamed up with an Australian company called Femme Organic to provide the products at a discounted cost. She said the more money that was raised, the more products would be provided to Tanzanian women.

Dr Ward said the drive would continue until she left for Tanzania on 27 April, and they were hoping to raise $47,500 to fund the products.

If you would like to donate to the Wezesha Project, see here. To find out more about Medical Mission Aid and the Wezesha Project’s history, see here.

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