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Doctor celebrates birthday by donating sanitary pads and PPE

Doctor celebrates birthday by donating sanitary pads and PPE

James Motlhaping

Many high school learners are forced to miss school because of not having sanitary pads during their menstrual cycle. Missing out on education has devastating long-term effects, not only for the learner’s educational development but also on their mental health.

COVID-19 has made the situation worse because people must also buy protective equipment such as masks and sanitisers. This is difficult for learners whose parents have lost their jobs during lockdown and female learners find themselves struggling to buy sanitary towels.

This is why Dr Amogelang Manganyi decided to partner with the Nhlanhla Tshabalala Foundation to celebrate his 29th birthday where he encouraged learners to stay in school by donating over 100 packets of sanitary pads and personal protective equipment (PPE) to Grade 11 and 12 learners at Thaba Jabula Secondary School in Soweto.

Manganyi, born in Hammanskraal, is a medical doctor at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane and the team doctor for Moroka Swallows Football Club. He is also the founder of Medihealth Solutions—a company focused on assisting at-risk youth with quality, stigma-free affordable healthcare in metropolitan areas.

“I chose a public school because many of these schools don’t have the budget to assist learners with what is needed and parents aren’t always able to afford these things as well,” Manganyi says.

He’s cognisant of the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has made it difficult for so many—to the point of not affording pads or PPE—to protect themselves at school.

“I have been treating COVID-19 patients and I see the effects of this pandemic. With the economic crisis we are facing, assisting where we should be the ethos of all individuals. Learners should not be worried and pre-occupied with not having sanitary pads or PPE, they should be learning,” Manganyi  adds.

Speaking to Stokvel Talk, Relebohile Thahane, a Grade 12 learner at the school says she is grateful to receive the care packages as gifts, especially from a man, during a time when South African women are brutally killed by men.

“It’s such a necessary package for so many of us who have to choose between buying sanitary pads or paying for transport. It’s really a thoughtful gift,” she says. The fact that Dr Manganyi took time out of his busy schedule to come and deliver these packages himself really means a lot.”

Nhlanhla Tshabalala, founder of the Nhlanhla Tshabalala Foundation, says Manganyi’s birthday gifts uplifted the learners and it’s always good for learners to feel that there is someone that cares about their health and well-being.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time as South Africa deals with COVID-19. The packages will help the learners to stay safe from the virus and the sanitary pads are needed to also restore their dignity.”






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