Thursday, 4 June 2020

Ekpenyong Advocate for free sanitary pads for girls

Ukorebi Esien | 4th June 2020

"If There's Access To Free Condoms For Sex, Girls Should Have Access To Free Pads." 

These were the words of Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency as she called on private bodies and nongovernmental organizations to see to the need of making available sanitary pads for young girls whom she said have resulted to using unsafe items during their menstrual period due to lack.

Ekpenyong made the call in Akpabuyo LGA of Cross River State during a health sensitization event held in partnership with Pink Africa Foundation. The call was made in regards to the increasing rate of infertility and health complications in women as a result of the use of unhygenic  napkins especially for those who can't afford the luxury of purchasing Sanitary napkins in order to checkmate the rising state of sexually transmitted infections even at the heat of the current pandemic facing the world.

She opined that, the reconsideration of gender equality measures should begin from the health and well being of both genders as she calls for free napkin distribution for females just like Condoms are shared among their male counterpart.

Speaking further Ekpenyong said, Menstruation is unplanned for and unnegotiable with its effect drastically felt among girls from poor income households who out of frustration seek alternative and compromising means to gather resources in order to purchase napkins for their monthly flow and maintain good personal hygiene.

She therefore seek for more attentions to be given to the girl child as any breakdown in her health may result into a psychological breakdown of every other members of the family.

Also speaking was the Executive officer for Pink Africa Foundation, Dr Nchewi Ani who capitalised on the provision and designing of clothes and reusable sanitary napkins for girls which can be utilized and managed for as long as a year when properly taken care of.

She said, with Cross River State housing many refugee camps, there is need to compel individuals and groups to support girls in these camps with Sanitary Materials while also admonishing groups who intend to give palliatives to the state and individuals to include Sanitary napkins which she said cannot be over emphasized in the lives of women.

According to her, if Condoms can be made readily available and free of charge for sex which is usually planned, then the need to make pads free is Paramount as mensuration is not negotiable and not everyone can afford a sanitary or even a cloth pad.

She however cautioned girls on the need to maintain good personal hygiene especially as it concerns their reproductive lifestyles.

The highlight of the event was sensitizing of the young girls on the kind of materials that can be used within their monthly flow, Various health complications that may arise using unhygienic materials and the display of various  techniques required in making cloth and reusable napkins as well as the distribution of disposable Sanitary napkins,Toiletries as well as personal protective equipment in the fight against covid19.