Foundation partners FG, sensitises students on menstrual hygiene

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an NGO, in partnership with the Federal Government, on Monday, sensitized students with disability in the Federal Capital Territory on menstrual hygiene health and management.

The event, which was organized by the Foundation was commemorated in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, Education and Women Affairs, at the School of the Deaf, Kuje Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Day, annually celebrated on May 28 in many countries around the globe, is to highlight the importance of menstrual care, and raise awareness about issues faced by women and girls who don’t have access to clean water and sanitary products.

The global theme of the 2022 celebration is: “Making Menstruation a Normal Fact of Life by 2030”, an effort to build a world where no woman and girl is held back because she menstruates.

However, the AHF 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Day has “End The Stigma on Periods!” as its theme. Dr Echey Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Program Director, said the foundation was creating awareness of the need to end stigma around menstruation while ensuring young women and girls have access to menstrual pads.

According to him, menstruation is a normal physiological process that occurs in adolescent girls and young women however, there is a lot of stigma around it.

“AHF is commemorating the 2022 menstrual hygiene day and this year we are speaking about ending stigma. There is the issue of access to menstrual pads, so we are trying to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene and telling everyone that it is a normal process.

“A process that needs to be supported, a process that needs to ensure girls have access to menstrual hygiene education and free pads,’’ he said.

Ijezie added that the process of menstruation had caused many girls to stay out of school due to financial inability to purchase pads, misconceptions, and myths around menstruation.

He mentioned that similar activities were taking place across other states where AHF operates, with activities such as radio jingles in ensuring the message gets to the grass root.

Mrs Gloria Ekanem, Member Technical Working Group on menstrual health and hygiene management, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, said the commemoration was aimed at breaking the silence on menstruation.

Ekanem said the Ministry was partnering with the foundation to create awareness on menstruation among young girls with a disability that is of reproductive age.

“Menstruation is a thing to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of, the message is for us to break the silence, and end the stigma and all the myths people have about menstruation.
“Some people cannot go out when they are menstruating, they cannot buy sanitary pads and are not accessible to menstrual hygiene and this situation is worrisome.

“That is why the ministry goes about sensitizing the general public, in schools, ministries, collaborating with various organizations to provide pad banks in public spaces during periods of emergencies.

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