• As others harp on neutral hygiene awareness

From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has described water and sanitary facility as critical to good menstrual health and hygiene.

UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Manager, Mamita Bora Thakkar declares at a media parley in Maiduguri on Thursday to commemorate the 2024 Menstrual Hygiene Day.

“Water and access to sanitary facility are very critical to good menstrual hygiene and dignity of every girl and women,” Thakkar declared.

She said inability of girls to access good toilet to clean up or change their sanitary pads at school during menstrual period, can prevent them from staying away from school. She said lack of access to such privacy could affect their dignity as many girls in menstrual period feel ashame to leave their seats until all their mates exit due to stain from menstruation.

The WASH manager said menstrual management also requires access to good information, materials and facilities for menstrual hygiene.

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She said UNICEF trained 330 girls in 93 schools across Borno, Yobe and Adamawa (BAY) states on sanitation, water and hygiene!. The global body also distributed 94,000 dignity kits to school girls and community members in 2023 and 2024.

Earlier at an event organized by some development partners in collaboration with Borno State government at the Government Girls Secondary School, Maiduguri, for school girls, speakers canvassed for more education and awareness.

Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said menstrual hygiene is not just a health issue but dignity of girls and women.

She urged society to keep the challenges girls face on menstruation in their heart to support the move to provide facility and other needs

Vice Principal of the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Fatima Mohammed said inadequate awareness, lack of access to sanitary facility, taboo and stigmatization remain major issues in menstrual health and hygiene.

She urged people to make a commitment to ensure menstrual hygiene a priority.

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