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Menstrual Hygiene: NGO distributes sanitary pad to schoolgirls in FCT

An Abuja-based Non-Government Organisation (NGO) —  Go Educate Them International (GET Int’l),
in collaboration with House of Bellad’Or Teens Foundation, on Monday, distributed 700 sanitary pads to girls in Government Secondary
School, Gwagwa in the FCT.

The distribution was part of the NGO’s activities to mark the 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Day, annually commemorated on May 28 globally.

Menstrual Hygiene Day is a day to highlight the importance of hygiene management at a global level.

The UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that every month 1.8 billion people globally menstruate, while millions of people
are unable to manage their menstrual cycle in a dignified and healthy manner.

The report also said that gender inequality, cultural differences, poverty, lack of basic services like toilets, and sanitary products could cause poor menstrual health.

Mrs Kate Bassey, the Chief Executive Officer of GET, said that menstrual hygiene which include access to sanitary products, ensured that women and
girls experienced their menstrual flow with self-esteem.

Bassey said “good menstrual hygiene prevent infections that could affect fertility in the long run, reduces odour and makes women and girls
comfortable.”

She called on relevant stakeholders to provide free sanitary products to young girls, especially the underprivileged ones in underserved areas.

According to her, GET Int’l is looking forward to collaborating with sister NGOs with similar goals to drive menstrual hygiene and management.

“We are also engaging our board of directors to make the initiative a quarterly event, looking forward to collaborating with other NGOs,
and embassies to get reusable pads.

“We believe it is going to be a sustainable initiative that will reduce the effects of poor menstrual health,” she said.

Bassey mentioned that 500 pads were given to the girls, while 200 were donated to the school for emergency menstrual flows that could start during school periods.

The Principal of the school, Mr Adewale Kehinde, commended the group, saying that “menstrual hygiene is a topic some guardians try to avoid
due to cultural beliefs and practices.”

He hoped that other groups could emulate GET Int’l to address immediate challenges in schools.

The students were taken through the processes of taking charge of their menstrual health and their personal hygiene, and how to build healthy
self-esteem during menstruation.

There was also a physical demonstration on how to use sanitary pad, as well as a session to educate the girls on emotional intelligence.

Some of the girls who spoke about their menstrual experiences, said they used tissue paper and pieces of rags because they could not
afford sanitary pads.

Other girls added that they used sanitary towels when they were in school, while others said they needed to be self-aware to avoid getting
stained while in public, as well as stigmatisation.

GET International Initiative is a charity organisation founded on the principles of love and empowerment.(NAN)

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