NGO, FG Partner to Distribute 330,000 sanitary pads to Young Girls in 6 States
The Aids Health Care Foundation (AHF), an NGO, said on Saturday that it would distribute 330,000 sanitary pads to young girls in six states of the federation including FCT.
The NGO said the distribution of the pads would be done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
Mr Steve Aborisade, Advocacy and Marketing Manager of the foundation, who disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja, identified the other five states as Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa, Cross river, and Anambra.
Aborisade said the distribution would begin on Oct.11 among young girls in rural communities, schools and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in commemoration of the International Day of the girl-child.
He noted that the gesture by AHF was aimed at empowering and supporting young girls while developing their capacity and leadership skills as most girls in Africa were extremely disadvantaged.
Aborisade said: “In AHF, we believe in giving every child every means necessary to reach their great potentials. “Most often young girls in Africa have to skip school and stay home simply because they cannot afford to buy sanitary pads during their menstrual periods.
“Something so natural and integral to a growing woman’s development should not be a barrier to her success or meant as an embarrassment or shame.”
He added that the empowerment of young girls could have a long-lasting impact on them in relation to their studies, health, and lifestyle.
According to him, it will help reduce the risk of spreading HIV/AIDs in their communities. Aborishade further urged the government at all levels to be committed and invest in the menstrual health of young girls in the country.
He said the donation of sanitary pads by AHF was a symbolic gesture to the government to take up the challenge and invest in the menstrual health of young girls. “The government can provide free sanitary pads to young girls in secondary schools across the country monthly.
“This is because girls especially in the rural communities, who cannot afford to buy sanitary pads, use alternatives such as wrappers and cotton wool which can cause them infection.
“Girls will shape the world of tomorrow; we all have obligation to give them confidence to succeed in building a better world,” he said. Aborisade said that one million sanitary pads has been donated by AHF, and they would be distributed to young girls in Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.
Newsmen report that AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS organisation in the world that provides health care to more than 600,000 patients in 36 countries. AHF Nigeria has been operating in the country since 2011 and has its presence in six states.