NIGERIA. Niger State. Over 1000 sanitary kits have been distributed to adolescent girls across Niger State to solve the problems of menstrual hygiene.
The Niger State Governor’s wife, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello, distributed the kits to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child.
Reason for sanitary kits
Bello explained that the sanitary kit was to solve the menstrual hygiene challenges faced by the girls belonging to the rural areas of the state. She also stated that the sanitary towels are reusable for one year before replacing them.
According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), poor menstrual hygiene can pose physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections.
The United Nations organization (UN) says that many girls and women have limited options for affordable menstrual materials, stating that providing access to private facilities with water and safer low-cost menstrual materials could reduce urogenital diseases.
According to Action Aid, one in ten girls in Africa miss school because they do not have access to sanitary products or there aren’t private toilets to use at their schools.
International Day of the Girl Child
25 years after the signing of the Beijing Declaration and platform for action, Bello states that much still needs to be done to provide and ensure the well-being of girls and women across the country.
According to her, the theme of the International Day of the Girl Child, “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow,” calls for the opportunity for girls to be inspired to reach for the highest level in their various fields of study.
She further said that COVID-19 has brought to light the challenges faced by girls in the family and in the community.
“Research worldwide shows an increase of about 30 per cent in the rate of Gender Based Violence, Nigeria and Niger State inclusive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This, indeed calls for urgent action for eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.”
The need to promote proper hygiene and sanitation among women and girls took centre stage at a program marked to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child in Niger State.
Advice for girls
A Doctor at the General Hospital Minna who gave a lecture titled “Menstrual Hygiene”, Dr. Kudirat Abdul-Ganiyu, said that about 70 per cent of reproductive health diseases in women are caused by poor menstrual hygiene.
She urged adolescents and young girls to maintain proper hygiene through guidelines, stating that poor hygiene can lead to life threatening ailments such as cervical cancer.