“Hlanteka Mbali”: Responding to MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) needs during COVID-19 in Eswatini

          “Hlanteka Mbali”: Responding to MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) needs during COVID-19 in Eswatini

In partnership with the AIDS Health Care Foundation (AHF) and Letshego Financial Services, SAfAIDS Eswatini is contributing to enhancing the dignity of vulnerable adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Eswatini during COVID-19 lockdown, through distribution of Dignity Packs in vulnerable communities in Eswatini. The “Hlanteka Mbali” Project provided 500 Dignity Packs which comprised of a rollon, face towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, bath soap, hand sanitiser, face mask and sanitary pads, to AGYW in 5 communities within the Manzini Region.

Mandisa Zwane, SAfAIDS Eswatini Country Representative
distributing Dignity Packs at Kwaluseni

Lethukuthula Methula, an 18-year-old girl from Matsapha, is one of theproject beneficiaries. Prior to the closure of schools, she was living at the school hostel and was receiving sanitary pads and all commodities she needed for her MHM, from the school. When COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, Lethukuthula had to go back home and was faced with challenges of accessing these commodities; as her mother being a single parent has at times been unable to afford sanitary pads and other commodities.

When Lethukuthula heard of the opportunity to access Dignity Packs
through the SAfAIDS Eswatini Hlanteka Mbali Project; she was excited. Her
excitement was however short-lived as she was faced with the challenge of
reaching the venue where the Packs were to be distributed. Lethukuthula is
an AGYW with a disability, her home was far from the venue and she had no
vehicle access to the venue. With SAfAIDS support, and two of Lethukuthula’s
young friends, she was able to reach her nearest community centre amid
the COVID-19 related restrictions. Lethukuthula expressing her delight in
accessing the Packs: “Coming here to receive the dignity pack is a good thing,
because now I am going to be clean and smell nice like other girls. I also thank
my friends for agreeing to push me to the venue”


Lethukuthula speaks-out the need to continue supporting vulnerable AGYW in accessing Dignity Packs