News The African Way

Nigerian Foundation Supports 100 Hearing Impaired Girls With One-Year Sanitary Pad Supply

By Justina Auta, ABUJA

A Nigerian organization, Tabitha Cumi Foundation (TCF), says it had supported over I00 hearing impaired girls of Abuja School of the Deaf, Kuje, with one year supply of sanitary pads, under its ‘Always Keeping Girls in School’ (AKGIS) Project.

The project was to educate vulnerable girls and their parents on the effective use of sanitary products, as well as encourage boys to support girls during their menstrual cycle.

Programmes Manager of the Foundation, Mrs. Nendi Ohah, disclosed this Thursday, at the commemoration of the 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Management Day and close-out of the AKGIS Project, funded by Procter and Gamble at the School.

“Many girls absent themselves from classes whenever they are on their period,” she said. “However, we have explained to the girls and made them understand that menstruation is a normal thing, and it shouldn’t stop any woman or girl from her chores,” she added.

Ohah, who said that the organization had also educated the girls on reproductive health and proper menstrual hygiene to improve school attendance, added that the event was in

Mrs. Hajarat Ahmed, the Deputy Director, Gender, Universal Basic Education Board, FCT, said the Board had trained desk officers to educate schoolgirls on how to produce reusable sanitary pads to improve school attendance.

“We have done workshops to teach our desk officers how to make reusable pads as the price of sanitary pads continues to increase.”

She urged other Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to support the girls too, as the TCF cannot do it alone.

She said, “this is because we discovered that the girls hardly come to school when they are on their menstrual period because they don’t have money to buy pads.

“But with this, it will go a long way in keeping girls in school, as they manage their cycle in a hygienic way.’’

Mrs. Obiageli Kechere, the Assistant Chief Programme Officer, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the agency had sensitized both boys and girls to change the misconception about menstruation.

She added that “on menstrual hygiene, we go to schools and talk to students and especially the boys, sensitize them on why they should take the girls as their sisters.

“We also tell the girls to feel comfortable and not miss school when they are on their menstrual period or make it seem like a taboo.’’

Kechere stressed the need to educate young girls on menstrual hygiene management and improve access to sanitary pads.

Dr. Bamidele Olaitan, the Head of Principal Administration, Abuja School for the Deaf, said the AKGIS project had improved students’ knowledge of menstrual hygiene and reproductive health, self-esteem, and reduced absenteeism in school.

“With the knowledge they have acquired so far in the past one year, the girls can live on their own, they can stay on their own; they can calculate the time of their menstruation on their own,” he said. “And on our part, we advise parents during school PTA meetings to be close to their children whenever they are on break or at home,” he added.

Joy Moses, a 2nd-year student of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) section, thanked the foundation for the support.


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