A Non-Governmental Organisation has pleaded with the Government to completely eradicate taxes allocated to all menstrual products to enable the less privileged parent to provide pads for the girl child in the country.
They also called on the government to implement pad bank policies in all public primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The Founder, of the Citizen Participation Advancement and Advocacy Initiative, CPAAI, Mrs Funmi Olorunmola stated this during the pad a girl medical outreach in Dafara, a community in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.
She encouraged all pad industries to reduce the cost price for easy affordability while adding that it would pave way for girls to be empowered through accessing good and quality education without challenges.
According to her, UNICEF indicated that menstruation is a global issue, as 1 out of 10 girls miss school due to a lack of menstruation products.
She added that “Pad a girl medical outreach” aids in increasing girls’ attendance in schools.
“Lack of a pad on the part of a girl child would mean absence from public places including school. If a girl misses 7 days out of 30 days in a month, it means she will miss 21 days in 3 months. This may lead to low academic performance or dropping out of the school system.
The initiator of the “Pad a Girl Initiative ” urged the government to provide necessary amenities such as clean toilets and running water to ensure students learn in a comfortable environment.
“This initiative was borne out of the need to break the silence around menstruation and also enlighten the masculine gender on the importance of menstruation. It is also carried out to solicit male support to reduce the act of bullying of girls whose cloth are stained by menstruation due to a lack of menstrual products in school.
” Another reason for engaging in this campaign is to provide hope to the girl child. One of our major tasks is to visit schools monthly to give out pads that will take a girl child for the whole term. The organization gives our 3 pads in 3 months, while encouraging the boys to support the girls at their young age”, she said.
A member of the “Pad a Girl Initiative” Mrs Olufunke Omoshola, said the medical outreach is meant to commemorate her birthday, and also support the less privileged in society.
“Based on the feedback from our last visit, we invited some medical practitioners to counsel the women in the Dafara community on menstrual hygiene and infections. We also engaged in tests on several health issues. With the support of families and friends and most especially the pad a girl Initiative, we were able to give out items such as clothes, shoes, household utensils and drugs”, she noted.
The CPAAI, Programme Coordinator Mr Tavershima Agbaya added that basic medication would be made available for villagers.
“The Pharmacist provided directions on how some of the drugs can be utilised in preventing infections or reducing the effects on the body. In some severe cases, we refer them to a health clinic for proper medical examination and treatment”, he said.