Her Hygiene & Her/Theodora Anavhe Adamu Foundation
Insufficient, incorrect information regarding menstruation is often a cause of unnecessary restrictions in the daily normal activities of the menstruating girls creating various psychological issues. Studies show that:
• School attendance: 1 in 10 girls in Africa miss school during menses (UNESCO).
• Access to hygiene products: a large number of girls leave school for lack of proper hygienic absorbents
• Health: Vaginal infections are 70% more likely when using unhygienic materials. Sanitation, like Deepak Chopra puts it, “although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery” besides, the lack of knowledge and awareness also lead to some poor personal hygienic practices during menstruation leading to many reproductive tract infections.
The silence around menstruation, as well as the lack of access to proper education, sanitation facilities and hygienic absorbents in rural communities directly affects women’s and adolescent girls’ self-esteem, health and education. Poor menstrual hygiene causes great impact in increased vulnerability to reproductive tract infections (RTI). Currently millions of women and girls in low income communities suffer from RTI and infection is transmitted to the offspring. Women having knowledge regarding menstrual hygiene are less vulnerable to RTI and its consequences. This can be tackled if young girls are taught proper hygiene management and have access to good sanitation facilities and hygienic absorbents. Various studies indicate that a huge information gap exists among rural and urban adolescent girls regarding menstrual hygiene. This is not supposed to be so as access to proper information and services on menstrual hygiene shouldn’t be a privilege but a right for all girls regardless of their economic background, age or religious status. The goal of this campaign is that girls from low income communities have access and education to proper menstrual hygiene management which in the long run will contribute to improvements in public health and eradication of poverty in Nigeria through equitable and sustainable WASH interventions. This we believe is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG6 which bothers on the available and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.