As part of activities to mark the International Youth Day, youth-run non-profit group, JTF Foundation, distributed free sanitary pads to over 50 young girls, yesterday, in the Abule-Egba area of Lagos.
According to the convener, Jesutofunmi Fayemi, the outreach was aimed at sensitising young girls on maintaining positive menstrual hygiene.
She said that most young girls in the area, and in other parts of the city, have been observed to be very ashamed about publicly seeking information on menstrual hygiene, hence a need to sensitize them at the grassroot level.
She said, “A lot of young girls do not practise proper menstrual hygiene. I have also noticed that a lot of mothers do not have these conversations with their daughters. A lot of these girls are scared to talk to their parents about it. It is something that a child should be able to communicate about. It is necessary to educate these girls about it. Most of them do not have an idea of how to practise proper menstrual hygiene.”
According to a Nurse at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebutte Metta, Mrs Adeoye Olotife, who gave a keynote address at the event, said that educating young girls on menstrual hygiene was important to building their self esteem.
She said, “This would help boost the self confidence of these girls. Not having enough information on their menstrual hygiene would definitely affect these girls. From a psychological viewpoint, it makes one to withdraw into her shell. It can make the girl shy away from social activities too. So, there are lots of causes about it and the major reason behind poor menstrual hygiene is lack of information. So, this would prepare them ahead for the challenges and experiences they are going to face. It would also help them resist negative cultural practices that prevent them from adopting the right menstrual hygiene practices.”
One of the beneficiaries, Precious Chukwudi, said that the event had helped broaden her orientation on menstrual issues.
Another girl, Oyebamiji Precious, who also benefited from the outreach, Presh Co, said that she was glad to have learned more about maintaining menstrual health, adding that most of her knowledge gaps on it were addressed during the event.
The programme was supported by a coalition of non-profit groups, including Sai Rosa Foundation and Leap Africa.
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