The Centre for Advocacy, Transparency and Accountability Initiative (CATAI) has said that about 500 million girls and women lack access to menstrual products with health risks.
According to the Centre, menstruating girls and women face challenges of practicing menstrual health and hygiene in schools and communities.
CATAI’s Executive Director, Abubakar Sadiq and the Borno Women Development Initiative (BOWDI) raised the alarm, yesterday (Wednesday), in Maiduguri, Borno state, on reproductive health led by a gynecologist.
He attributed the challenges to lack of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and menstrual product that cause serious health risks to reproductive and urinary tract infections.
He lamented the inability of girls and women to manage their menstrual cycle in a dignified healthy way.
Continued; “Improper menstrual hygiene management and disposal facilities, including water, sanitary pads and gender-sensitive toilets in schools cause many girls to miss educational activities during their cycle.”
Besides the menstrual facilities, he added that every Nigerian girl of reproductive age has a right to affordable menstrual products, as an essential human need.
According to him, menstrual are unaffordable to girls and women, including low-income ones and other vulnerable persons in communities.
A gynecologist with the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Dr. Ann Peter, urged the Federal and State Governments to prioritise policies that guarantee the right of women menstrual hygiene.
She said the three tiers of government, should ensure access to essential facilities that protect their dignity and the prevention of health risks.
Her words: “The menstrual hygiene policy should be in accordance to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Educational institutions are to provide menstrual hygiene products accessible to girls of reproductive age.”
She added that humanitarian organisations and stakeholders, are also to sponsor the distribution of subsidized menstrual pads for women below the poverty line and the vulnerable girls in communities.