By Ahmed Ahmed
A Coalition of NGOs in Bauchi State have advocated for a curriculum of studies on menstrual health and hygiene in schools for adolescent girls to learn from the basics.
Executive Director, Alwadata Lifeline Initiative, Mrs Winnifred Yusuf made the call at the launching of menstrual reality and distribution of reusable pads on Thursday in Bauchi.
She noted that menstruation can always have an effect on adolescent girls dropping out of school is a large challenge for the nation.
“That is why we are advocating to government, legislators and stakeholders on the need for curriculum on menstrual hygiene in schools
“That can provide adolescent girls with knowledge, sanitary products, and facilities to understand and manage their menstruation,” She said.
Yusuf said the coalition of the NGOs would also begin distributions of 6000 reusable pads in schools and some communities of Dass, Bauchi and Ganjuwa local government areas of the state.
Also Speaking, the Executive Director ASHH foundation Mrs Comfort Attah lamented that menstruation affects girls’ attendance and participation in education across the country.
She said schools can as well raise awareness about the need for adequate and sufficient menstrual hygiene management for adolescent girls, in schools and beyond,
“The coalition of NGOs on Menstrual hygiene would advocate for breaking taboos and stigma surrounding menstruation.
“It is estimated that girls lose an average of 4 days of school a month, which costs them nothing less 265 learning days over six years of Junior and secondary school,” Attah noted.
According to her, menstrual health and hygiene management involves a number of interventions that go beyond interventions in schools,
“But include providing adolescent girls with knowledge, sanitary products, and facilities to understand and manage their menstruation.
“That is what the coalition is doing to resolve the significant challenges in ensuring they have adequate facilities available for girls in schools and communities,” She said.
Also Speaking, Malam Ibrahim ladan Civil Society Organisation urged the coalition not relent on the effort of menstrual hygiene advocacy and sensitisation in schools and communities.
“These interventions are tied to adequate sexual and reproductive health education for adolescents, particularly programming around puberty.
“Advocacy should focus on improving the school environments to ensure girls feel comfortable to stay in school,
“Including creating more separate toilets and water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for girls and boys, running water access and handwashing facility,” he said.
Our corresspondent reports that the NGOs are ASHH Foundation, Alwadata Lifeline Initiative, Saberrash Foundation, period reality among others.