December 1, 2019

Vulnerable women, girls get free hygiene kits in Plateau

women, hygiene

Vulnerable women get free hygiene kits in Plateau

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Over 50 vulnerable pregnant women, lactating mothers and teenage girls in Plateau were at the weekend gifted with hygiene kits to improve their sanitary needs and curb the spread of disease in their communities.

The beneficiaries, drawn from the Muslim community in Jos North local government area of the State got items like sanitary pads, toothpaste, tissue papers, bathing and washing soaps, diapers, vaseline, and detergent among others courtesy, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Saphira Global Centre for Social Development in conjunction with Hanan Initiative for Women and Youths.

The gesture, the donors said was part of the 16-day activism to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women as well as part of their implementing project titled “My Gender, My Pride” which is aimed at sensitizing grassroots women and girls on the need to observe basic hygiene, and open defecation and stay safe from disease.

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Speaking with Vanguard, the Executive Director, Saphira Global Centre for Social Development, Yil Gonsum, a filmmaker and social activist, with passion for humanitarian work said that the project was embarked upon because of the low sensitisation on health and hygiene in particular in the target community, adding that similar programme would also be carried out in Christian community in the state.

According to her, “There has been low sensitisation on health and sanitary issues in this community, we are keying into the 16 days activism to mark the international day for the elimination of violence against women to sensitize these vulnerable groups about how to observe basic hygiene in their daily lives. We believe that by sensitising them, they will imbibe hygiene practices and save themselves from the common disease.”

In her own remarks, Jemila Idris, the Chief Executive Officer of Hanan Initiative for Women and Youth said that the target community engages in open defecation and different kinds of health risk activities stressing that outbreak of diseases often begin in these hard to be reached communities and later gets to the general public.

She stated that the group had earlier in September organised a health talk in the community where participants raised concerns on health issues specifically in the area of hygiene management and environment adding that the women had called on the Plateau State Government to reintroduce the monthly sanitation in the state to enable residents to clean their environments regularly.

The beneficiaries were excited at the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the hygiene kits and also appealed to the government to provide supports to vulnerable girls and women in the state.