By Ononye VC
Regina Pacis Secondary school students of the Archdiocese of Onitsha during the week joined other institutions across the world in celebrating the World Menstrual Hygiene Day organised by an NGO named,Development Centre for Orientation, Discovery and Empowerment (DeCODE).
A team from the NGO who visited the school and delivered lectures on menstrual hiegene worked in partnership with DomKing Table Water to organise the 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Day through school outreach and live radio programme.
According to the DeCODE executive director,Princess Cynthia Enweonwu Arinze, this year’s theme for Menstrual Hygiene Day is -“Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030”.
While the over 3000 Girls reached, educated and sensitized were from Regina Pacis Model Secondary school Onitsha, Ado Girls Secondary school Onitsha, Anam High School Oromaetiti and CKC Umuenwelum Anam,reusable sanitary pads were distributed only to the girls at Anam High School and CKC Umuenwelum.
The girls were educated on what menstruation entails, menstrual cycle calculations, right ways of handling the reusable pad, menstrual hygiene management, reasons for menstrual bracelet.
They were empowerd to accept the fact that menstruation is part of who they are and should be prepared to take very good care of themselves when going through the periodic experience instead of missing out of school and other social activities; using dirty and unhygienic materials to;develop the inner strength to end the shame and stigma associated with the period and lots more.
Explaining their mission,Princess Arinze pointed out that DeCODE organisation which also is a partner of JDPC, Archdiocese of Onitsha, is working with local communities to research and provide information about menstruation, promote positive hygiene habits and break down taboos.
DeCODE also provide reusable sanitary pad for girls in some of the poorest communities.
To help girls feel more comfortable and manage their periods better, DeCODE distributes re-usable pads which are made of cotton, they are washable and reusable. Girls can use each pad for over twelve months.
DECODE recognized the fact that
“Meeting the hygiene needs of all adolescent girls is a fundamental issue of human rights, dignity, and public health and all these and more are some of the reasons DeCODE embarked on this 31 days Menstrual Hygiene Awareness.
Princess Arinze expressed appreciation to authorities of both the mission, private and government schools who permitted the lectures. She also expressed gratitude to the Seven FM Radio,Onitsha and Radio Sapientia Onitsha for giving the NGO the platform for the live radio programme on Menstrual Hygiene Awareness.
Others professionals who participated in the programme include Madam Sheila in Oromaetiti among other principals of school.
Arinze also expressed gratitude to others who assisted the NGO which include, Barr. Nonso Isiugo Arinze, Amalunwaogalanye Ifeanyi Arinze, Diamond Amuche, Chinelo Ezinwa Nwakwesili, Ogechukwu Obi, Ebele Enweonwu, Uche Osakwe, Uju Oguine,and others too numerous to mention for their financial and moral contribution towards the success of the 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Celebration.