By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Worried by unhealthy challenges faced by women and girls practicing mensuration in the country, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has called for a safe environment.
The foundation made the call during a partnership with the federal government and other stakeholders.
Speaking in an event to commemorate the 2021 Menstrual Hygiene Day, with the theme: “A Necessity, Not a Luxury”,
Mr Steve Aborisade Advocacy and marketing manager, AHF Nigeria, said the event was necessary to harp on the exigencies of menstrual hygiene among young girls.
The programme which was organised at the instance of AHF, was meant to sensitise young girls from various schools in the Federal Capital Territory on menstrual hygiene practices and reusable pads.
To add glamour, schools were invited to grace the occasion.
Those in attendance include; Lightway Academy, Junior Secondary School Apo, Junior Secondary School Gbagalape, Junior Secondary School Kpeyegyi, school of the Deaf Kuje , members of the Girls ACT among others.
Aborisade spoke on the need for young girls in school to have access to sanitary pad, a safe and clean environment to change and dispose used pads.
“The foundation is ensuring that this message is broadened especially when we realised that menstruation is a necessity for women and girls.
“It is a monthly ritual and majority of our girls lack access to sanitary pads, which is necessary for optimal health; especially young girls who are in schools need to have confident.
“We want government and other stakeholders to begin to look inward to see that it is an area of intervention.
“ We want girls in schools to have places where they can pick a refill of their pads, like a sanitary pad bank where we have enough pads available for a lot of young girls.”
Going forward, he said the foundation would be supplying five million pads across Africa and 40,000 would be distributed at AHF operating states.
The states are; FCT, Nasarawa, kogi, Anambra, Cross River, and Akwa-Ibom.
On her part, Mrs Justina Ukachi, Principal Community Development Officer, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, adding that menstruation is a natural process for women and girls.
“ The Ministry will be unveiling a menstrual pad bank, so that during emergency women and girls can have access to pads, disinfectant, hand sanitizers, soaps, among others.
“We also want to see that the menstrual pad bank is replicated at work places, markets, schools and other public places across the federation,’’ Ukachi said.