By Hannatu Sulaiman Abba
The Federal Government has unveiled a sanitary napkin bank to meet the needs of women and girls during their monthly menstrual period in emergency situations.
Minister Women’s Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Pauline Tallen who disclosed this at the launch in Abuja, said the program was part of the activities to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021.
The day, under the theme “We must step up our actions and investments in Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management (MHHM) now,” aims to make sanitary napkins available at all times for emergency use.
“A Pad Bank is now established within the ministry and it will serve as a model for all public institutions, including ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), hotels, banks and even in supermarkets and open markets.
“It’s about allowing girls everywhere and everywhere to have access to towels in an emergency, when they suddenly experience their monthly flow which can come at any time without warning,” she said.
According to her, the ministry had set up a committee at MHHM to ensure that adolescent girls and women of childbearing age are able to manage their menstrual cycle with dignity.
While calling on stakeholders to replicate the gesture by setting up a menstrual pad bank at their facilities, Tallen said the menstrual items will be donated to schools in the six CTF regional councils and other states in the federation with support from partners.
Comfort Lamptey, the national representative of UN Women in Nigeria and ECOWAS, stressed the need for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, especially in schools, to eliminate the reasons for which girls do not go to school during their monthly period.
Lamptey called for increased funding for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to enable it to fulfill its mandates on women’s and children’s issues.
Sharon Oladiji, Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF, tasked parents and the media to communicate with children and the public about appropriate information on menstrual hygiene, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and rights.
Likewise, consultant Raquel Daniel urged parents to develop their children’s knowledge of menstrual hygiene to enable them to obtain information from reliable sources.
Speaking on behalf of the women in the Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Zone One (IDP), Miss Fatima Mohammed, denounced the lack of access to sanitary items, especially water and sanitary napkins during their monthly period. .
According to her, most women use their scarves or old clothes as a sanitary napkin.
However, she thanked the ministry and other partners who donated sanitary napkins to them.
Miss Fatima said exercise will provide them with alternative materials to use during their menstrual period.
She said it will also allow them to take care of their personal hygiene and control their mobility.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that sanitary napkins, writing materials, napkins and other items have been distributed to students in various CTF schools, people with special needs and the camp of the IDPs.