A Public Health Consultant Physician, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State, Dr. Nkiru Ezeama, said on Friday that about five hundred million women and girls lack adequate facilities for menstrual health management (MHM ), worldwide.
She also expressed concern about the stigma and practical difficulties that many women and girls face around the world, especially in Nigeria, during their period.
Dr. Ezeama revealed this during a one-day symposium in commemoration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022, held at St. John of God Secondary School in Awka.
She expressed her frustration with the development, even as she counseled female students on how to deal with the difficulties associated with menstruation.
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The event was organized by Creative Ladies Global Resources, a non-governmental organization that focuses on improving the health and well-being of young girls.
About the period of poverty in a woman, Dr. Ezeama, who spoke on a topic: A global perspective on menstrual hygiene management, “How it affects environmental and public health concerns” during the program , described the period of poverty as the period of hardship when girls cannot afford menstrual products during menstruation.
She said these girls often resort to unhygienic practices to stay clean during their period, which is said to be around five days every four weeks.
Menstruation, they said, is an integral part of a woman’s life, but a nightmare for five hundred million women and girls around the world who, she noted, do not have access to basic sanitation facilities during their periods.
She explains that the majority of young girls around the world do not have access to sanitary pads “which are necessary for optimal health”.
She says; “Girls still in school mostly lack confidence when they don’t have access to sanitary pads. Some of them also avoid schools because they do not have access to sanitary pads for their periods.
Dr. Ezeama noted that the approximate number of menstrual days a woman has in her life from the age of nine (9) is 3,000 and a woman’s annual solid waste load of disposable sanitary napkins is 44 254.
The Unizik doctor urged government at all levels to understand the need for this to be an area that needs urgent intervention, especially in public/private primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
The keynote speaker of the program, Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna, during her short speech, urged young girls to always guard their pride during the menstrual period to avoid temptation from their male counterpart.
She advocates an end to menstrual stigma, noting that menstruation is a natural occurrence and not a taboo.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of Creative Ladies Global Resources, Engr. Ms. Maureen Chizoba Okolieukwu, said the program was organized to build girls’ knowledge and provide an enabling environment for effective management of menstruation in Nigeria.
She said that Creative Ladies Global Resources, in partnership with some public/private health centers, missionary health centers, wealthy people and other civil society organizations, is currently working to support those she has described as marginalized adolescent girls in the country, thanks to the training. girls on appropriate ways to manage menstruation and demystify myths/taboos around them by providing the right information.
“We are building the capacity of councils and counselors to support girls in menstrual hygiene management, protecting their dignity by providing sanitary pads and advocating with school management to improve WASH facilities and ensure that girls stay in school to complete their education cycle.
According to her, the majority of young girls in the world do not have access to sanitary pads “which are necessary for optimal health”.
“Some schools also lack water and a safe place to change and dispose of their pads. So at Creative Ladies Global Resources, we work diligently to ensure that we provide sanitary pads to girls and also advocate with other parties stakeholders to see the need to make them available to our girls.
“For this commemoration, we are distributing over 700 sanitary napkins to female students from 19 secondary schools in Anambra State who participated in the program.
Menstrual Hygiene Day helps break the silence and raise awareness of the fundamental role good menstrual hygiene plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential, Okolieukwu added.
Representatives from the State Ministry of Health and Ministry of Water Resources, at the Symposium, pledged to collaborate with the NGO, to ensure public awareness on menstrual health hygiene in the state .
The Paradise News collected that Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global platform that brings together government agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the media, among others, to promote good hygiene management. menstrual hygiene (MHM).
The theme for World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022 is “Creating a world where no woman or girl is held back because she will menstruate by 2030”.
The event was observed by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, traditional leaders, teachers and women’s groups.