The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Friday advised women to make proper menstrual hygiene management a priority and encourage others around them.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu gave the advice at the maiden World Menstrual Hygiene Day programme organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, at Ikeja, Lagos.
The World Menstrual Hygiene Day is marked every May 28 to create awareness about menstrual health across the world.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu was represented at the event by the wife of the Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Funmi Omotoso.
The programme has its theme: “It’s Time For Action.”
“We are gathered here today to commemorate this day as an event meant to upgrade and change the outlook of feminine personal hygiene, during monthly menstrual period.
“This initiative will certainly help to break the culture of silence on the taboo that surrounds this important phase.
“Even as it builds awareness on the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management plays in the general well-being of our girls and women.
“I, therefore, seize this opportunity to urge our women to make proper menstrual hygiene management a priority,” she said.
Mrs Sanwo-Olu commended the ministry for the initiative, noting that it was very thoughtful and insightful in helping to educate women.
“Let me reiterate that poor menstrual hygiene is a perfect environment for the growth and multiplication of harmful bacteria and yeasts.
“Some of these could lead to fungal or bacterial infections of the reproductive tract, urinary tract, the irritation of the skin as well as being a cause of discomfort and prognosis for dermatitis.
“This forum will help to educate and alleviate encounters on feminine menstrual hygiene.
“It is indeed time for action toward playing up the issues around the woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, she added.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, Bolaji Dada, said the programme was organised as an advocacy platform.
According to her, the platform is to bring together the voices and actions of both government and non-governmental organisations to promote good menstrual hygiene.
Mrs Dada said: “As we all know, WAPA is saddled with the responsibility of protecting women and creating awareness on issues that affect them.
“The Lagos State Government join in the global celebration of the day to enumerate on the importance of hygiene management during menstruation.
“At this juncture, we want to implore women within this noble state, to scale up on their personal hygiene.
”Even as they take cognisance of those times they have unusual flow during their menstruation, which could be an indication to seek for further medical help”.
Mrs Dada said statistics had shown that menstrual hygiene management requires the use of products to contain the flow and offer a conducive experience devoid of embarrassment.
“Menstruation from time immemorial sets the pace for reproduction between ages 12 to 52 years and it is a landmark which identifies us as women.
“In low-income countries, Nigeria inclusive, the choice of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by costs, availability, social and traditional norms.
” Creating interactive avenues as this, where women can discuss issues relating to good menstrual hygiene management, will add value to curbing the use of unsafe materials that trigger gynecological ailment,” she said.
Free sanitary pads were given to the women and secondary school students at the event.