Ahead of this Menstrual Health Day (MH Day), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is calling on everyone globally to #EndTheStigma on periods for the 1.8 billion people who menstruate worldwide and make ending period poverty a top priority in all countries.
“Nothing can stop us from having periods, but the harmful stigma and discrimination around menstruation, along with the lack of access to menstrual health products and facilities, has the power to stop us from thriving and living healthy lives,” said Guillermina Alaniz, AHF Director of Global Advocacy and Policy.
“Menstrual health must be a priority worldwide, particularly in lower-income countries, because people who menstruate are in danger of being left behind due to inadequate health and safety around periods. It’s time to ‘End the Stigma’ on menstruation and ensure that period products and safe facilities are available to everyone, without shame or discrimination,” he said.
MH Day is commemorated annually on May 28. It began in 2014 to recognize the need for increased menstrual health education and resources. AHF country teams have planned empowering, entertaining, and educational “End the Stigma” commemorative MH Day events for 2023.
In Nigeria, AHF Nigeria with her partners are converging on Korfa Pada, Keffi, Nasarawa state, for a community rally and sensitization which will start from the palace of the Emir, enroute the Federal Medical Center (FMC) roundabout and back to the Emir’s palace where young women and adolescents’ girls with boys would gather for a menstrual health talk, which will also see AHF give out free sanitary pads to participants.
AHF said it will be at the forefront of advocacy to ensure indigent young women and girls who lack access to sanitary products can have unhindered access.
“It is important to note that AHF has been partnering with ministries and agencies of government to influence policies in support of this goal across the states of our operation,” Alianz said.
Dr. Eche Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Program Director said, “We are poised to place menstrual health issues as a key national agenda, and, it is in this regard that we are committing resources to creating greater awareness in the general population and bringing different stakeholders to join the conversation.
“Young women and girls, irrespective of their location or social status must be able to have their periods in a safe and conducive environment and without the difficulties that a lack of access to sanitary products presently constitutes.”