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WaterAid supports Nigerian govt on menstrual hygiene and WASH policies

By Faridat Salifu

WaterAid Nigeria is set to collaborate with key government ministries to spearhead the development of essential policies aimed at improving menstrual hygiene and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) practices in the country.

This collaborative effort will involve partnering with the Ministry of Women Affairs to establish a National Menstrual Hygiene Policy (NMHP) and engaging with the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation as well as the Ministry of Environment to develop a comprehensive National WASH Policy, aligning with the Sanitation Policy Guideline (ASPG) in Africa.

During a recent One-Day Symposium in Lagos held in honor of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024, WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Evelyn Mere, emphasized the importance of integrating menstrual health into national policies, programs, and budgets to ensure adequate support for women and girls.

Acknowledging that menstrual hygiene management is not just about sanitation but also about safeguarding dignity and overall well-being, Mere highlighted the significance of multidisciplinary collaboration among stakeholders.

The symposium, held under the theme “Together for a Period Friendly World”, stressed the necessity for concerted efforts to address the societal taboos and stigma surrounding menstruation while advocating for universal access to menstrual products, education, and infrastructure.

WaterAid’s commitment to empowering communities and schools in Nigeria with practical knowledge on menstrual health, access to sanitation facilities, and affordable menstrual products was reiterated by the Country Director.

In their contributions, government officials underscored the fundamental nature of menstrual health in upholding human rights, dignity, and public health.

The urgent need for awareness, advocacy, and inclusive policies to combat discrimination and stigma related to poor menstrual hygiene was emphasized.

The event culminated in a panel discussion moderated by Mrs. Titilola Bright-Oridame, Project Coordinator at Lagos Water Corporation, and saw the distribution of Hygiene Kits to over 100 schoolgirls present, alongside informative presentations by participating schools.

Notable dignitaries present at the symposium included Dr. Patricia Nekpen, Founder of the Society for Girls in Science and Engineering Foundation, and Mr. Adenigba Henry Oluwarotimi, Executive Director of Programmes at Humanity Family Foundation for Peace and Development (HUFFPED), among others from various organizations and government agencies.

This collaborative initiative signifies a pivotal step towards fostering a supportive environment for menstrual health and hygiene in Nigeria.


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