‘Why schoolgirls should get free menstrual products’

The need for schoolgirls to get free menstrual products has been stressed.

Ms Fola Degun, an independent business owner in Longrich Bioscience international, made this call while giving sanitary napkins to about 250 female students and teachers of St Lukes College 1, Molete and St David’s Cathedral College, Kudeti, Ibadan, on Thursday.

Represented by Mrs Olubunmi Oluwole, the donor said the call for free menstrual products became imperative because of the discovery that one out of 10 girls miss school during their menstrual period due to their inability to afford sanitary pads.

Owing to the inability to afford quality sanitary pads, Degun noted that several girls are forced to use all sorts during their monthly flow leading to unhygienic practices.

She also decried that the situation also led to girls falling behind their male counterparts in their studies and often dropping out of school.

Degun prayed the nation takes a cue from some provinces in Canada that offer free menstrual products to girls.

She said: “Menstrual hygiene is not often discussed with schoolgirls and her research shows that because some girls struggle to make ends meet, what they use during their monthly flow typically leads to unhygienic practices.

“According to UNICEF, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. It is said that about one out of 10 girls miss school during their menstrual period because of their inability to afford sanitary pads.

“Many of these girls fall behind their male counterparts in their studies and often drop out of school.

“We want the girls in Nigeria to have the same opportunity as schoolgirls in some provinces in Canada who are offered free menstrual products.”

Addressing the SSS2 and SSS3 female students of the schools, Degun admonished them on good menstrual hygiene, good general hygiene so as not to be prone to toilet and urinary tract infection.

She said the pads were given to the female students, in line with the commemoration of the International Day of the girl child and as part of her corporate social responsibility to the society.

While recognising the obstacles faced by the girl child in the society, she admonished them to always hold their heads high and be resolute on achieving their dreams in life.

In their remarks, both principals of St Luke’s College 1, Molete, Mrs Deborah Salami and her counterpart of St David Cathedral College, Kudeti, Mr Akanmu Aderemi, appreciated the donation while also emphasizing the need for girls to be keen on good menstrual hygiene.

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