Menstrual Hygiene Day: Activists task govt. on provision of free sanitary pads to girls

Participants at a forum on Menstrual Hygiene Management have called on Governments to provide free sanitary pads to girls to assist them achieve good menstrual hygiene.

They made the call on Tuesday in Lagos at a one-day conference to mark the 2019 International Menstrual Hygiene Management Day usually held annually in May 28.

The theme for this year’ s celebration is: “It is time for Action.”

The forum was organised by the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) an NGO, in conjunction with Girls on Mission (GOAM), Australia, at Ogba.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme had 300 school girls from various schools across Lagos and Ogun.

Dr Adeolu Olusodo, a General Medical Practitioner, urged governments to support every woman to have good menstrual hygiene.

“There is need for governments to help women take care of themselves, particularly when they are in their menstrual period.

“Women who are in detention and in IDP camps are being neglected in this regard.

“As organisations, individuals see the need to feed them daily they should also see the need to provide them with sanitary pads monthly to encourage good hygiene.

“Also there are women who do not have the ability to buy the disposable type.

“If governments can provide reusable pad for these ones, it will go a long way in helping them have a good menstrual hygiene,’’ olusodo said.

The Executive Director of CEE-HOPE, Mrs Betty Abah, said poverty and the economic challenges many families faced had made it difficult for them to afford sanitary towels for their girl-children.

“This is the time to bring it to fore and make it a major discuss to see how government can reduce the prices of sanitary products and, or even make it free for every girl-child.

“If organisations are going all the way to distribute free condoms, why can’t they distribute free sanitary towels?
“Sex is a choice, monthly period isn’t as long as the girl is within her productive years,’’ she said.

Also, Mrs Yinka Keni, women and girls activist, advised girls to at all times maintain cleanliness urging them to take care of those body parts that are hidden.

Besides, she advised them to always wash from front to the back to avoid infections.

Miss Ogunde Ayomide, an SS2 student of Skygrade Model College, Ifako, told NAN that the programme was educative.

“I am always wearing a pad all through the day; I only change when I get home from school; I did not know I should carry extra to change like two to three times,’’ she said.

NAN reports that high quality sanitary towels were distributed to the girls at the end of the programme.