World Menstrual Hygiene Day: NAWOJ Urges Improvement in Sanitary Facilities Nationwide

Lami Victor, KADUNA

The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has called for enhanced sanitary facilities in schools, hospitals, institutions, and markets across Nigeria. In a statement issued to the press, NAWOJ National President Hajiya Aisha Ibrahim highlighted the urgent need for improved menstrual hygiene management.

Citing World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, Ibrahim noted that millions of women and girls lack access to adequate menstrual hygiene products and sanitary facilities. She emphasized that inadequate sanitary facilities hinder effective menstrual hygiene management and contribute to girls’ absenteeism from school. Many girls miss classes or drop out altogether after reaching puberty due to the lack of proper sanitary infrastructure, such as water, latrines, and soap.

“There is also the fear of leaks or blood stains during school hours, as well as abdominal pain,” Ibrahim explained. She stressed that menstruation often brings shame and stress for many girls due to a lack of information and proper facilities. The absence of comprehensive knowledge about menstruation and negative societal attitudes compel girls and women to take health risks related to menstrual management.

Ibrahim also highlighted that one in ten women worldwide suffers from menstrual insecurity, which refers to the difficulty in obtaining menstrual protection due to low income. The high cost of menstrual products, such as tampons and disposable pads, prevents many girls and women from fully participating in economic, social, and family activities.

The NAWOJ President warned that girls and women from disadvantaged backgrounds often resort to using hazardous methods like cloth, paper, and cotton during menstruation, exposing themselves to significant health risks and infections.

NAWOJ’s call to action underscores the necessity of addressing menstrual hygiene management as a critical public health issue. Improved access to sanitary facilities and affordable menstrual products is essential for the well-being and empowerment of women and girls in Nigeria.

The statement was e-signed by Wasilah Ladan, NAWOJ National Secretary, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to advocating for better menstrual hygiene management and facilities nationwide.

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