Menstrual Hygiene Day: AHF calls for end to “period poverty”

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By Justina Auta

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria, an NGO, has called for an end to “period poverty” and to eliminate the stigma surrounding menstruation that keeps women and girls away from thriving.

The AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, Dr Eche Ijezie, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday to commemorate the 2024 Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MHD is annually celebrated on May 28 to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual health education and resources.

The theme of the 2024 edition of the global observance is “Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld.”

Commonly known as period, menstruation is the monthly discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina to indicate the absence of pregnancy.

Ijezie, therefore, stated that barriers, along with stigma, can lead to poor health outcomes, missing school or work, and adverse effects on mental health during the period.

He added that “to end period poverty, AHF Nigeria is poised to place menstrual health issues as a key national agenda.

“And it is in this regard that we are committing resources to creating greater awareness in the general population and bringing different stakeholders to join the conversation.

“Young women and girls, irrespective of their location or social status, must be able to have their periods in a safe and conducive environment.

“Women and girls must also have access to sanitary products and clean water while observing their period.”

He explained that period poverty is the situation whereby women and girls cannot afford menstrual products or access water and sanitation facilities to manage their menstrual health and hygiene.

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According to him, the organisation will be having a multi-state commemoration to reach more young women and girls with menstrual health education and awareness and distribute free sanitary pads in communities. (NAN)

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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