Worried about increasing sexual and reproductive health issues among young people in Cross River, Second Chance Initiative (SCI), a non-governmental organization is collaborating with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), office of Dr. Linda Ayade, wife of Cross River Governor and Medical Women Association (MWA) to hold massive sensitization on menstrual hygiene in rural communities in the state.
SCI renown for championing capacity and sensitization towards promoting reproductive health and rights, and enabling young people make informed choices in Nigeria made this known, in Calabar through a statement by Mrs. Lillian Oyama, the Executive Director of the NGO.
Oyama, renown to champion aspects concerning society reproductive health needs said her organization was worried that an issue that affects every day life, especially young rural dwellers is far swept under the carpet, hence the need for SCI seeing the need to rejuvenate the course.
Part of issue trailing this trend, she said include poor awareness at home and in schools; paucity in availability of sanitary pads and other hygiene menstrual products, adequate toilets, water and disposal options.
As contained in her statement, her NGO is to partner other development partners to observe the international menstrual hygiene day commemoration of May 28 spanning with a beehive of activities scheduled to begin from Friday 26 would launch various outreaches in communities in Cross River with the peak of events holding at Holy Child Girls Secondary School in Ikom Local Government Area of the state.
“The theme for this year’s menstrual hygiene day is ‘Education’,” Oyama said.
“Part of activities to mark this year’s international menstrual hygiene day include essay competition and awards for secondary school students aimed at creating awareness on menstrual hygiene among teenage girls in the state scheduled to hold on Friday at Holy Child Secondary School Ikom” she added.
Furthermore, the statement said: “Following after the school competition will be free medical outreach on breast, cervical cancer and treatment of minor ailments with the chief of it all holding in Okuni of Ikom on Saturday.”
The reproductive health needs crusader added that “While the international menstrual hygiene day celebration itself with distribution of free sanitary pads holds on Sundayat Holy Child Girls Secondary School.”
She further called for support from donors to join the campaign to enable girls stay in school with donations of sanitary pads and other hygiene menstrual products, adequate toilets, water and disposal options.
Others expected to partner the initiative include the Cross River Government through the Ministry of Health, Aurora Loreli Ltd,
Child Survival Development Organization, Pro-Health International, Fhi360, Teens with Skills among others.