The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists Nigeria, NRHJN, Lagos State Chapter called on both public and private sectors to subsidize the price of sanitary pad for the poor, so it can be affordable for girls especially those from vulnerable, poor, low income homes and communities, even as free reusable sanitary pads were distributed to students on the Menstrual Hygiene Day.
The advocacy is further calling on the government to tackle period poverty, promote health and wellbeing affecting the girl-child.
The intervention coincides with marking the Menstrual Hygiene Day held on Wednesday June 15.
According to the NRHJN Lagos State Chapter Coordinator, Ms. Kikelomo Oduyebo, the group has engaged about 100 students of Iju Senior Grammar School Obawole, Lagos State on public education conversation in making menstruation their normal way of life, as it debunked myths, stereotypes and stigma associated with menstruation.
Oduyebo also said that the MHD program was the second edition of the NRHJN Lagos State Chapter public health education program in bridging the communication gap on sexual and reproductive health issues for adolescent girls so as to achieve SDGs goals 1, 3, 4 and 5 on zero period poverty, good health and wellbeing, quality education and gender equality for school girls as well end stereotypes, stigma and taboos associated with menstruation.
While highlighting on “Menstrual Hygiene as Gateway to Total Health at the event, “Dr. Yeside Shogbamimu, a Consultant Physician Adolescent Health Unit Coordinator of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, LSMoH urged the students to see their monthly cycle as part of their biological process and not something to be ashamed of.
Dr. Adeola Obasanya, the Adolescent Health Officer of Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, in a presentation on “Why Adolescent Girls Need Support system at home, school and the society during menstruation” encouraged the students to always talk to their parents, school counsels anytime they need support during their menustration especially if it’s a painful process.
She urged them to always change their sanitary pads every six hours to avoid germs and infections which can develop due to poor hygiene during their menstruation.
In her presentation on “How Right Sanitary Pads enhances good Menstrual Health,”the Convener of Sanitary Pads Media Campaign, SPMC, Ms. Anike-Ade Funke Treasure said she was happy to be part of the special day to commemorate the MHD 2022 as it signals the first flag-off of the distribution of re-usable pads by SPMC in its promotion of menstrual hygiene and fight against period poverty.
Delivering a speech, Ms. Julie Ekong, a director News of Radio Nigeria, the Convener of SPMC identified consistent supply of good sanitary pads as a way of enhancing good menstrual health and promoting period dignity.
Dr. Keziah Awosika, the Executive Director of Women, Law and Development Center Nigeria, WLDCN and Chairman of the occasion called on government and every school to make water available in school public toilets and good hygiene practices among the students at all times.
Distribution of free reusable sanitary pads to about 100 students by the NRHJN through a donation from SPMC excited the students.
The Principal of Iju Senior Grammar School, Obawole, Lagos State, Mrs. Olabisi Shyllon appreciated the gesture and assured that the students would always have access to good toilet facilities with water supply and a robust support system in school during their menstruation.
She added that no girl-child would have any cause to miss school activities during their menstruation nor endure stigma or stereotypes under her watch.