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International NGO urges FG to intensify menstrual, health, hygiene awareness



Water, Supply, Sanitation and Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has called on the Federal Government to intensify Menstrual Hygiene Management  (MHM) and health awareness in the country.

Ms Sue Coastes, the WSSCC Executive Director made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

Coastes said she was on a four-day visit to discussion with relevant ministries in Nigeria on water supply and sanitation.

She said the issue of menstrual hygiene and health awareness education was imperative as most people still saw it as a taboo.

According to her, the menstrual hygiene and menstrual health management is something that is very key to Nigerian government to move along with its work on sanitation.

“This is for the empowerment of girls and women looking not only at girls when they are just starting to menstruate but with good guidance for their menstrual hygiene and menstrual health management.

“This can promote and empower girls to have their lives.

“This is about dignity and also empowerment to participate in the society.

“This is for them to be able to go to school, college or work when they menstruate and be able to stay in these places when they menstruate and not to stay away due to poor menstrual health.

“We are encouraging the government to look at the integration of menstrual health and hygiene in other key areas that matter to girls and women in the country.

“So, MHM is a good entry point when talking to young girls and boys in the discourse on the delay of child marriage, sexual debut, early pregnancy and gender based violence, among others.

”So you can use it as a strong entry point,” she said.

Coastes, however, said the WSSCC, which is an international agency based in Geneva, Switzerland was working through Global Sanitation Fund in Nigeria.

She said that WSSCC was primarily aimed to promote sanitation and hygiene by ensuring safe toilets for girls and women and to improve Menstrual Health and Hygiene.

She said that the discussion of menstrual health was a huge taboo in many countries and many families found it difficult to talk about it.

Coastes, however, said that there was need for all to ensure effective advocacy to address the issue menstrual health and hygiene management as it could not be hidden.

“We need to do the same with menstrual hygiene because it is so prohibitive that girls or women do not have the basic facts and often it is just misinformation, so they need to know,” she said.

NAN reports the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global, multi-stakeholder membership and partnership organisation that works with poor people, organisations, governments and local entrepreneurs to improve sanitation and hygiene at scale.

Edited by Grace Yussuf