By Tosin Kolade
Toilet Kulture Initiative (TKI) an NGO on Monday donated no fewer than 168 disposable pads to female students of School for Special needs in Kuje Area Council of the FCT.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was part of the group’s `TKIPadHerUp’ project.
The Executive Director of the group, Mrs Elsie Ozika, said that the gesture was to ‘pad up’ the girl-child with the accurate information, absorbents, and the provision of water and sanitation facilities during menstruation.
Ozika noted that the “PadHerUp” campaign adopted the Integrated and Holistic Three-Pronged (IHTP) approach to break silence, manage menstruation hygienically and promote safe reuse and disposal of menstrual materials.
She said there was the need to break the silence by raising awareness and increasing understanding that menstruation was a natural phenomenon.
According to her, all stakeholders ought to encourage girls to discuss and talk about their periods in an informed and positive manner.
Ozika said in managing menstruation hygienically and safely, there was the need to ensure the availability of adequate water, cleaning and washing materials, private spaces (Toilets) for managing their menstrual flow hygienically and privately.
“Recent discussions are focused on the global outbreak of the coronavirus, which is fast impacting negatively not only on human health but economic and social wellbeing of all mankind.
“There is also a growing recognition of the unique health risks that menstruating women and girls face due to inadequate sanitation facilities, especially during pandemics as we presently are faced with.
“In developing and poor countries, the lack of information about menstrual hygiene as well as materials to manage oneself properly, creates a culture of taboos and misinformation about menstruation and potential health risks including reproductive tract infection such as vaginal infections’’.
Ozika noted that the growing concern about gender–unfriendly school culture and infrastructure and lack of safe and private sanitation facilities for female teachers and girls undermine the right of privacy.
According to her, involvement of men and boys in menstrual hygiene conversations will help to provide support and change current narrative of poor menstrual hygiene practices.
The school’s Assistant Head of Administration, Malam Yahaya Mohammed, while commending the group for the donations, called for more support from the government and individuals.
According to Mohammed in a separate interview, children living with special needs are special as no amount of money will be enough to take care of them.
The children were also trained on effective hand washing techniques, and how to manage menstruation effectively.
The outreach also featured talks from Prudence Oryina, winner of the Miss Tourism Queen of Africa, who is TKI’s brand ambassador and face of the ‘Beauty 4 WASH’ project, working to promote WASH in schools. (NAN)