… Preaches menstrual hygiene
By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa
The Hilarity Grace Foundation in collaboration with the Eunice Nnachi Women Advocacy Foundation, ENWAF and other nongovernmental organization, NGOS has reached out to women and girls at the Swali Ultramodern Market through its campaign tagged 1000 Pads to the Streets.
Convener, Hilarity Grace Foundation, Grace Ukpevie stated that the essence of the campaign was to raise awareness on the need for government to reduce the prices of sanitary pads through the removal of taxes which has made it so expensive.
” Pads are now expensive in the markets, we are not just sharing pads to young girls but we want the government to remove the taxes on pads, they are essential products, so that pads can be affordable”
Ms Ukpevie who emphasized the need for menstrual hygiene called on young girls and women to feel free to talk about menstruation adding that it is a normal biological process hence they should seek help when necessary.
” More than half of the population all over the world are women and girls who menstruate, so we should not be ashamed to say we are menstruating”
Also speaking, CEO, of ENWAF, Lady Eunice Nnachi advised young girls to ensure that they take proper care of their bodies during menstruation.
Lady Nnachi noted that in many rural communities, most young girls and women have little access to sanitary pads and this affects their convenience and self-esteem, adding that the initiative seeks to restore dignity and good health to the girl child and the Women.
She added that what ought to be a proud period in the lives of most poor and vulnerable girls, often turn out to be their most dreadful period, as they rarely get to attend schools during menstruation, while others who cannot afford a good menstrual pad rely on old rags as alternatives, with detrimental health challenges.
According to her “damp and dirty menstrual clothes or using a sanitary napkin for longer than 4 hours act as a perfect environment for growth and multiplication of harmful bacteria and yeasts, microbes like Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, E.coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa grow easily in the humid environment provided by prolonged use of unhygienic absorbents or sanitary napkins”.
“These bacteria can invade urinary tract including urethra and urinary bladder, resulting in painful urination, lower abdominal pain, back pain, and fever, the complications can be easily avoided by using hygienic sanitary napkins for periods, if sanitary pads are not changed frequently, vaginal skin may get infected with bacteria or fungus resulting in painful rashes, she added.
The ENWAF CEO commended the convener of the campaign, and pointed out that young girls are also commonly vulnerable to sexual abuse in their quest to seek for money to buy menstrual pads, noting that the 1,000 pads to the streets campaign initiative will stand out as a laudable and sustainable project.