by Justina Auta
Some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government on Monday unveiled pad banks to cater for cases of emergency within their work environment.
Mrs Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs disclosed this while meeting with the media, students and other stakeholders in Abuja, ahead of the 2022 World Menstrual Health and Hygiene Day, celebrated every May 28.
Tallen said the gesture was aimed at creating more awareness about menstrual hygiene, in line with the 2022 theme: Making Menstruation a Normal fact of life by 2030.
“As the coordinating ministry and the National Secretariat for Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management, we have also made remarkable progress around menstrual health and hygiene management in Nigeria.
“It is worthy to mention that some ministries through advocacy, are unveiling their Pad Banks, to cater for cases of emergency within their work environment,” she said.
According to her, the MDAs include Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Water Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development, Interior, Youth and Sports Development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) amongst others.
The minister, therefore, encouraged others, especially those in the private sector to emulate the gesture for the wellbeing and convenience of women and young girls.
“I therefore wish to use this opportunity to call on other MDAs and other stakeholders, including airlines, schools and security agencies to join in the campaign to make menstruation a normal pact of life, by setting up Pad Banks in their spaces.
“Together, if we strengthen our collaboration, existing structures to end violence against children, to secure a brighter future for our country will be sustained,” she said.
Ms Erika Godson, Deputy Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), encouraged the public to see menstrual hygiene as essential for women and young girls.
On the issue of obstetrics fistula, Godson called on relevant stakeholders to improve quality of services in healthcare system.
“We encourage our healthcare system to improve the quality of services, so that women can deliver babies safely and not left with the issue of obstetrics fistula.
“This will put them in such discriminatory conditions, in which they cannot contribute meaningfully to the society,” she said.
Also speaking, Miss Latifat Kabir-Yahaya, a student, stressed the need for students to be able to access and afford sanitary pad at all times.
She said poor access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermined the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls.
Similarly, Benjamin Ojionu, a student of Junior Secondary School, Garki, stressed the need to also educate the male-child, on issues affecting women and children.
He said more sensitisation would improve menstrual hygiene and prevent sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
Other highlights of the day included the distribution of sanitary pad to some FCT students. (NAN)