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There is nothing unnatural about menstruation – Dawodu

There is nothing unnatural about menstruation – Dawodu

Olayemi Dawodu, anatomic pathologist/managing director of Clina-Lancet laboratories, has enlightened schoolgirls that there was nothing unnatural about menstruation because it was a fundamental part of a woman’s life.

According to Dawodu, in the past girls had been made to feel ashamed and shy to know about menstruation.

“They need to own it like an armor, and this can be done very confidently when every girl- child have all the information on how to remain neat, how to take care of herself during menstrual cycle and for the girls to also know that is a superpower because it is one of the processes that must achieve before becoming mothers.”

She made this known while addressing students of New Era Girls Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos at a girl child school support programme, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Clina-Lancet laboratories “Pad Up a Girl”, held recently ahead of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day to be celebrated on May 28.

The World Menstrual Hygiene Day aims to reduce the stigma around periods, promote awareness about menstrual hygiene management and advocate for ending period poverty. However, on Wednesday 17th, no fewer than 1,200 sanitary pads were distributed to schoolgirls at New Era Girls School, Surulere Lagos.

According to the managing director, “This project is imperative, because we want to keep girls in school, promote gender equality and empower the girl child. We are a company that is very conscious and deliberate about our corporate social responsibilities for all the communities where we have our services being delivered.

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“This project was embarked upon last year, this will be the third school that will be visiting girls and our aim is to reach at least 10 schools before the year is over and what we intend to do is not just for Lagos, but in all the other states where we have presence in Oyo state, River State, Abuja and Delta State and other communities that were prospectively looking at going into.

“This is our way of giving back and ensuring that we are aligning and reducing inequalities for Girls. It is very important because we are going into as many communities as we can and schools especially, to create awareness around menstrual health, and apart from creating the awareness we also provide materials that encourage menstrual health,” she said.

Meanwhile, according to a report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which indicates that 23 percent of girls in Nigeria had missed school in the past 12 months because of their period. Giving a health talk on the topic “Menstrual hygiene” to the schoolgirls, Oluchi Mbakwu, a medical practitioner, emphases that the uniqueness of a girl is her menstruation, noting that this occurs in a girl at the stage of puberty.

In expert advise, she counselled the girls that it was necessary to keep clean during the menstrual cycle, which is on average four days a month.

“Avoid wearing a pad for more than a day or using cloth to absorb menstrual blood or tissue paper, this poor menstrual hygiene and unhealthy practices could lead or cause fungal infections, bacterial infections, yeast infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).”

“Today, with this exercise, we are passing across the message to you little girls at this early stage, to help you cultivate the attitude of being clean, hygienic and taking care of yourselves, especially in terms of menstrual hygiene,” she said.

Also speaking, Temitope Ambrose, head business development and marketing, Clina- Lancet laboratories Nigeria, said period poverty is regularly challenged by students and homeless women and girls according to reports.

“Inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education are also critical challenges.We at Clina-Lancet are very intentional in championing the cause of female and the girl child in Nigeria because we are a healthcare organisation, and very committed to providing affordable health care in terms of clinical laboratory services in Nigeria, so we are at the forefront of advocating for gender equality, anything that concerns the girl child,” Ambrose said.