The Sure Start Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organization, has sensitized 7,500 children drawn from five secondary schools, on menstrual hygiene in Kano State.
At an event to mark the International Day of the Girl-Child in Kano on Wednesday, the Executive Director/Founder of the NGO, Binta Bamalli, said the mission of the NGO was to use strategic advocacy to improve the culture of the girl-child education in the North West zone and beyond.
According to her, the group was also focusing attention on the reproductive health of the Nigerian girl child, particularly the Northern girl child, stressing that they are confronted with more challenges than their counterparts in other regions of the country.
Mrs Bamalli explained that factors such as poverty and insurgency have left negative impacts on schools in the North.
“The girl-child in the North West, North East need advocacy more than any group and that is why we are very committed to improving the health and education of the Northern girl child.
“We are having about 1,500 girls from each of the schools put together. What you are witnessing here today is sensitisation on the need for hygiene during menstruation.
“Sure Start Initiative is a social enterprise, using strategic advocacy to improve the culture of education, as well as the reproductive health of the Nigerian Girl Child, particularly the Northern girl child because she has more challenges than her counterparts in other regions of the country,” she said.
She said during one-on-one interactions with the girls, they established the challenge of functional toilets in most of the schools.
”So when a girl-child is going through her period, how do you expect her to concentrate? How can she understand what her teacher is teaching her when she is battling with these challenges?
“And you know what is associated with menstruation, which ranges from stomach ache, restlessness to unexplainable inconveniences.
“So, we need the government, as well as well-meaning Nigerians and the NGOs, including international bodies, to please give some attention to the water sanitation and hygiene in the schools of our girls so as to improve their life span and attain their full potential in life,” she added.