3rd June, 2021
The 28th of May is globally set aside as World Menstrual Hygiene Day, an awareness campaign initiated by a German-based NGO, WASH United in 2014.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) is a day dedicated to bringing awareness to the vital role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in empowering women and adolescent girls worldwide to become all that they can be and also to debunk taboos surrounding menstruation.
In a bid to support the initiative, MOLPED Sanitary Pad, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health hosted a dissemination conference on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at Radisson Blu, Ikeja Lagos.
In attendance at the conference were: Dr. Folashade Oludara, Director of Family Health and Nutrition Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Imoisili, Coordinator Adolescent Health, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Adebayo, Consultant Public Health Physician Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Amaka Haruna, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health/HIV Prevention Analyst UNFPA, Dr. Rotimi Agbolagorite, Director Disease Control Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Mazeedah Erinoso, Coordinator Child Health Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs Olusola Hassan, State Health Educator Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs Oredolapo Fagorosi, Director Basic Education Services Lagos State Ministry of Education, Boladale Akin-Kolapo, Chief of Party USAID Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH), Mrs Roseline Abaraonye Marketing Manager Hayat Kimya Nigeria, Mrs Ifeoma Lanipekun Brand Manager Molped, Ms. Chidinma Ekile Brand Ambassador Molped amongst others.
The conference was organized to present the results of the first-ever survey on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) conducted by the Lagos State Ministry of Health in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund amongst Secondary School girls in Lagos state with the aim to collate data, provide factual education about menstrual hygiene and raise awareness about menstruation and create a world in which every girl is empowered to manage their monthly periods safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame.
Speaking on the survey, Dr. Amaka Haruna, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health/HIV Prevention Analyst UNFPA stated, “There are a lot of myths surrounding menstrual hygiene. We are pleased to collaborate with the Lagos State Ministry of Health with support from Hayat to release the findings of this survey. We look forward to conducting more exercises like this which will help to ensure that we eradicate the shame behind menstrual hygiene, and provide the girl child with the confidence to enable them participate in work and school activities so that no girl is left behind.”
The report indicated that over half (55.4%) of respondents had poor knowledge of menstruation. The survey revealed that information concerning menstruation is often incomplete and is sometimes tainted with misconceptions.
During the insightful panel discussion, Dr. Folashade Oludara, Director of Family Health and Nutrition Lagos State Ministry of Health, addressed how this can be tackled, when she said, “It’s unfortunate that the girl child receives information about menstruation way too late. We urge mothers to give timely advice and counselling to their girl child concerning menstruation.”
She also added, “I commend the Lagos State Government for being proactive in the adolescent health space and for providing sanitary towels to students and schools and supporting initiatives such as this. I look forward to seeing more collaborative projects with the Ministry of Health.”
90% of the respondents reported using sanitary pads as their main menstrual hygiene materials. However, it was used simultaneously with other cheaper reusable materials, which are not necessarily hygienic.
Also speaking at the Dissemination Conference Marketing Manager, Hayat Kimya Nigeria, Roseline Abaraonye, said “We are glad to be a part of a project that is geared towards promoting better menstrual hygiene management amongst young ladies.
“Presenting the results of the survey has given Molped a better opportunity to advocate for our Molped ladies. This survey is important for us at Hayat Kimya Nigeria because we always put the interest of our consumers first in designing and improving on our products. Their utmost comfort is our top priority.”
Molped’s involvement in this initiative reaffirms its commitment to young girls, empowering and equipping them with all they need to become all they can be.