Prime Diamond Initiative for Community Health (PDICH) will embark on an awareness and training campaign project on menstrual health and hygiene management knowledge among adolescent girls in the country.
Ms Chinasa Onukegbe, Founder of PDICH, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, said that the project was in partnership with Voice global, through “Hygiene and Menstrual Management (HYMEN)’’.
Onukegbe said that the project would directly impact more than 5,000 girls across the three senatorial district of Plateau state.
According to her, this will enable access to menstrual products and potentially increase school attendance for the girls to reach their full capacity.
“The project is aimed at empowering more than 500 women through the production and distribution of products across rural communities in Plateau state.
“It will increase easy access to menstrual products as well as comprehensive menstrual health and hygiene management knowledge among adolescent girls.
“It will help maintain hygiene for women and girls, improve their confidence, self-esteem, reduce stigmatisation, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and transactional sex among adolescent girls.
“It will also help them to remain in school to achieve their full potential.’’
According to Onukegbe, it will also stimulate rural industry employment by empowering rural woman to develop economically by providing both direct and indirect employment.
She said the essence of the awareness and training was due to the fact that evidence had shown that the period around puberty was one in which many girls dropped out of school.
According to her, these are significant periods of time due to lack of access to menstrual products.
She said limited access to safe, affordable, convenient and appropriate methods for dealing with menstruation had far reaching implications for the rights, physical, social and mental well-being of many adolescent girls in Nigeria and other developing countries.
According to Onkegbe , a large number of girls in Nigeria, particularly in rural communities do not have access to any form of sanitary protection, thus obstructing their access to education, economic and social activities.
She said this did not only affect an individual’s life and career prospects, but also affects the entire community they live in.
The founder said there was also lack of education, guidance or counseling on puberty and sexual reproductive health, except myths, taboos, stigma and shame which led to low self-esteem and other mental health challenges.
Onukegbe, however, noted that the tax levied on menstrual products in Nigeria had not in any way been helpful in reducing period poverty.
She said while a pack of menstrual pad might cost less than one dollar, 50 per cent of Nigerians lived in extreme poverty where women and girls made more than 70 per cent of this population.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PDICH, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is committed to gender equality, good health, well-being, sanitation, education, poverty eradication and social justice in Nigeria.