Fire Officers Wives Association (FOWA) has urged women quarantined in various COVID -19 isolation centres in Nigeria to ensure proper menstrual hygiene while receiving treatment to prevent further infections.
FOWA President, Mrs Amina Liman, gave this advice on Friday during a virtual conference via Zoom, with the theme: ‘Maintaining menstrual hygiene and curtailing the menace of rape during the pandemic.”
Liman said it was essential to reiterate the need for quarantined women to adopt proper menstrual hygiene since they will be sharing toilets at various isolation centres and due to lack of privacy to change sanitary wears while menstruating.
“COVID -19 may be prioritised over menstrual health, but they go hand-in- hand because both require water to keep safe.
“Menstruation will not stop COVID -19 and COVID-19 will not stop menstruation in women either, so menstrual hygiene is important even while battling the virus,” she said.
The FOWA boss further advised mothers to ensure their female children often dressed decently and monitored on the kind of friends they mingled with to prevent rape.
“The girl child should be enlightened on self-defence and encouraged to speak out if and when she falls victim of rape,” she said.
Dr Grace Awopetu, Clinical Psychologist, Benue State University, Markudi, stressed the need for the government and privileged members of the society to make menstrual hygiene materials accessible to women in the face of the current COVID-19 induced hardship.
“Menstrual supplies are essential, therefore, female patients and health workers must have access to menstrual health supplies as well as the means to regularly maintain their menstrual hygiene in order to respond to the pandemic,” she said.
Prof. Francisca Ogwueleka, Dean, Faculty of Military Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna, called on the Ministry of Education to make Menstrual Hygiene Management subject an integral part of the girl child education.
Ogwueleka appealed to the Federal Government to build a menstruation assistance package into its COVID-19 response programme.
FELLOW PRESS reports that the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, represented by Mrs Jummai Mohammed, a Director in the ministry, made a donation of 200 menstrual pads and packs of pasta to the association.
Responding, Liman thanked the minister for the donation, adding that the materials would be distributed during the association’s sensitisation programmes.