Some nurses and midwives under the auspices of Igala Nurses and Midwives Association (INAMA) on Friday, donated sanitary pads and drugs to students of Federal Government Girls’ College, Bwari, Abuja.
Making the donation at the school, President of the association, Mrs Christie Awunor, said the gesture was a medical outreach organised by the nurses as part of activities to commemorate the International Nurses Week.
Awunor said that the gift was aimed at encouraging the female students on the use of sanitary pads during their menstrual circles.
She said that about 61 per cent of young girls used dirty rags, tissue paper, ordinary paper as an alternative to pad during their menstrual period, and described such practice as unhealthy.
According to her, such practice can expose them to urinary track and virginal infections and staphylococcus, among others.
Awunor, however, attributed the situation to financial constraints of some of the girls as a lot of them could not afford a sanitary pad.
She stressed the need for the girls to adopt hygienic ways of handling their menstrual periods to avoid infections, which if not properly treated when contacted, could damage the fallopian tube and affect reproductive lives.
“Part of our yearly activities is to visit schools to give health talk, promote health and also prevention campaign as well as testing services for HIV, Family Planning, maternal and child health, among others.
“The visit is aimed at educating them on menstrual hygiene and importance of sanitary pad as well as advocate for the school management to prioritise giving the children pad once monthly like they serve them lunch and dinner.
“Also, we educate them on drug abuse and its health implications, sex education to prevent them from illicit sex, falling prey to perpetrators of child abuse, molestation and other societal ills,” Awunor said.
Awunor said that sexual abuse was a recurring trend across nooks and crannies of the country, and lamented that young girls, including infants, were being abused by their fathers, uncles and neighbours.
She said that the trend had continued because the children were ignorant of how to guide against such advances.
The president advised the students to report to their mothers and teachers when their fathers or anybody made love advances toward them either by touching them on the breast and other vital parts.
She identified some tricks normally used by the perpetrators to include offering to buy biscuit and some other valuables, which they felt the children could not afford.
“What we hear everyday are issues of rape and girls being molested even in communities, at home and we discovered that a lot of the girls cannot speak out because they are threatened.
“This is why we decided to channel this enlightenment to especially girls’ schools so that they can learn and report any misconduct to them,” she said.
The association donated 500 packs of sanitary pads and drugs, which included Flagyl, Paracetamol, Boscupan, anti-Malaria for the school’s dispensary to ensure availability and easy access to such drugs when a child had challenge.
Receiving the items, Head Girl of the school, Miss Fatima Ibrahim, commended the association for gesture and said that it was a right step in the right direction.
Similarly, Mr Andrew Husseini, Vice Principal, Special Duties of the school, expressed gratitude of the management to the nurses, noting that the girls were ignorant of their sexualities and morality because of their ages.
Husseini said that the students were being given proper orientation, especially on sex education.
“We do a lot of guidance and counselling, but this is even more practical as they are listening to the voices of professional nurses and midwives, which is an addendum to our own activities to reorient them toward their sexualities.
“It will help them a great deal and at the end the girls will be highly enlightened and know much better how to live their lives as young girls aiming at the future,” he said.
On his part, Mrs Helen Wada, Founder of INAMA and the Head Nurse of the school, said that the Health Talk had helped to increase the knowledge of the students on personal hygiene.
Wada commended the association for the gesture, adding that she was honoured by the choice of FGGC, Bwari, by the association as beneficiary of its goodwill.