… Says 500 out of 1.8 billion people who menstruate experience period poverty

From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

As the world marks the 2024 Menstrual Health Day (MHD), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria has called on all Nigerians to join hands with the organization to end period poverty.

The call was contained in a statement signed by AHF Head of Advocacy and Marketing, Steve Aborisade, and made available to newsmen in Makurdi.

According to AHF, out of an estimated 1.8 billion people who menstruate globally, 500 million will experience period poverty including the lack of access to menstrual health products, safe and clean facilities, and accepting communities.

The organization lamented that the barriers, along with stigma, can lead to poor health outcomes, missing school or work, and adverse effects on mental health.

“This Menstrual Health Day let’s end period poverty and end the stigma.”

The statement said for the 2024 Menstrual Health Day (MHD), AHF has organized and event at Government Senior Secondary School, Jabi, FCT, Abuja, Ibesikpo Secondary Commercial School, Nung Udoe, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state and in Agyogoyo Angwan-Jukun community, Makurdi, Benue state, for May 28, to fight period poverty and eliminate the harmful stigma surrounding menstruation that keeps women and menstruating people of all ages from thriving.

Menstrual Health Day, observed annually on May 28, raises awareness about the importance of menstrual health education and resources.

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He said AHF uses its commemorative events to distribute free sanitary pads and advocate for effective menstrual health management for all who need it.

“This year, AHF Nigeria is having a multi-state commemoration to reach more young women and girls with menstrual health education and awareness and distribute free sanitary pads to as many girls as we can reach out to in our states of operation.

“Beyond these, AHF Nigeria is also working through some Civil Society Organizations, CSOs and Community Based Organizations, CBOs, to distribute free sanitary pads to young women and girls in communities across our program states,” he said.

E stated that in Abuja, FCT, Ibesikpo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state and in Angwan-Jukun community, Makurdi, Benue state, AHF officials in collaboration with partners shall be hosting engaging outreach events to provide awareness and education about menstrual health management issues and as well distribute free sanitary pads to young women and girls at the events.

“There will also be live radio engagements in Abuja, Uyo and Makurdi to propagate menstrual health management education widely.

“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 and without the difficulties that a lack of access to sanitary products presently constitutes,” the statement quoted Dr. Eche Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Program Director.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.9 million clients in 46 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe.

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