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NGO Donates Reusable Sanitary Pads To JSSs In Abuja

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Jiwa School
Students of Junior Day Secondary School Jiwa flanked by officials of Centre for Family Health Initiative showcasing the reusable menstrual pads donated by the nongovernmental organisation.

The Centre for Family Health Initiative (CFHI), a non-governmental organisation, has given 60 packs of reusable menstrual pads (Safepad) and 25 hygiene kits to vulnerable girls in three junior secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The executive director of CFHI, Ms. Krystal Anyanwu announced in Abuja on Friday that the gesture was in honour of the 2024 World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

World Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated every May 28, highlights the significance of menstrual health, which involves the overall physical, mental and social well-being of women and girls during the menstrual cycle.

Menstrual hygiene entails women and adolescent girls managing their menstruation in a hygienic manner, with dignity, using clean menstrual absorbents, and having access to facilities for discreet changing, washing and hygiene.

Recognised as a crucial element in public health promotion, gender equality advancement and human rights protection, menstrual health and hygiene align closely with Sustainable Development Goals, primarily Target 6.2.

The donations were given to Junior Secondary School Takurshara, Junior Day Secondary School Jiwa and Government Secondary School Nyanya in Abuja.

Anyanwu highlighted that menstrual hygiene includes practices and conditions that enable women and girls to handle their menstruation with dignity, safety, and comfort.

“Including access to menstrual products, clean private facilities, water and soap, proper education, and safe disposal methods. Maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is vital for women and girls’ health, preventing infections and supporting their engagement in education and daily activities,” she stated.

Anyanwu emphasised that by providing these reusable pads, CFHI not only promotes gender equality by allowing girls equal participation in educational and social opportunities but also alleviates the financial strain on families.

She added that the initiative would help girls manage their periods with dignity, reduce school absenteeism and prevent the use of unsafe alternatives that could lead to infections and health problems.

In addition, CFHI continues to raise awareness about menstrual health and hygiene, educating both girls and boys while dispelling misconceptions related to menstruation.

“This fosters a more inclusive and supportive environment for all. Adolescent girls were also trained on making menstruation bracelets,” she added.

Upon receiving the items, the principal of Takurshara, Mrs. Philomena Nashel lauded CFHI for the donations and acknowledged their impact on the students.

Nashel urged CFHI to continue its commendable work by educating more adolescents, including parents, as many avoid discussing such topics.

Co-founder of CFHI, Ms. Princess Anyanwu explained that the Safepad initiative aims to create economic opportunities for local women and girls and provide reusable sanitary pads to vulnerable groups at minimal or no cost.

Anyanwu revealed that CFHI has distributed over 5,500 reusable sanitary pads to vulnerable adolescent girls over the years.

Notably, according to the Ministry of Women Affairs in 2023, more than 37 million girls and women in Nigeria could not afford menstrual hygiene products.

This situation implies that every month, over 37 million females struggle to manage their periods safely, limiting their ability to pursue education, work and enjoy their lives.

Although this unfortunate predicament has become normalised, it remains alarming.

Over the past 11 years, sanitary pads—the preferred period product in the country—have been subject to high prices, particularly imported ones.

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