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Anambra MWAN educates school adolescents on menstruation to mark World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023




From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

The Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) Anambra State chapter under the leadership of Dr Ofiaeli Ogo (Presdent-elect) and the Secretary, Dr Nwazor Onyinye, respectively has celebrated its 2023 World Menstrual Hygiene Day with the theme “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030”.

World Menstrual Hygiene Day is commemorated every May 28 to raise awareness on the importance of hygienic management of menstruation and highlight challenges faced by menstruating women and young girls.

MWAN Anambra had a number of events to mark the 2023 World Menstrual Hygiene Day which started with donation of menstruation handbook for adolescents written by the Young Doctors Forum of the MWAN to all public secondary schools in Ekwusigo and Nnewi North Council Areas on April 28, 2023.

This was used to teach all adolescents in schools after which school level quiz competition was conducted. The best fifteen students from each school were selected to attend the grand finale held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Catholic Girls’ Secondary School, Ozubulu.

The highlights of the grand finale included a written quiz competition featuring fifteen students selected from thirteen public schools in Nnewi and Ekwusigo Local Government Areas, to give a total of 195 participants.

The winners of the final quiz competition was announced by the HOD, Science and Technology, Post Primary School Service Commission (PPSSC), Nnewi Zone, Mrs Ikeanyi Salome while awards were presented to the winners by the Zonal Director, ASUBEB, Nnewi zone, Mrs Mgbenwelu Pat, assisted by the State President, Dr Chinyere Onubogu.

The winners and MWAN Anambra 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Champions were Miss Afobe Chinonye Lilian (SS2, 92%) for Senior secondary category and Miss Unachukwu Esther (JS 3, 84%] for junior secondary category. Both champions are students of Maria Regina Secondary School, Nnewi.

The 2nd, 3rd and lots of consolation prizes went to students of Maria Regina Secondary School and Anglican Girls Secondary School, Nnewi. For the senior category, Nwadiugwu Chibundo (SS1, 90%) and Ikechukwu Ifunanya Esther (SS2, 86%) were in the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively. And in the junior category Ezeakuji Chiamaka (JS 3, 83%) and Ngwu Chisom MaryJane (JS2, 82%) were in the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively.

The winners went home with mouth-watering prizes. All attendees received sanitary products.The teachers of Maria Regina Secondary and Anglican Girls Secondary school Nnewi were appreciated for the performance of their students.

There were talk sessions by a team of seasoned adolescent health specialists led by the State President and consultant Paediatrician, Dr Chinyere Ukamaka Onubogu.

Topics discussed include;
The physiology of menstruation by Dr Umeh Uche (Consultant Public Health Physician, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH) and menstrual hygiene committee chairman; hygienic management of menstruation by Madubueze Princess; proper sanitary products for menstruation by Onyeanusi Onyinye.

Others are, tracking of menstrual cycle by Prestige Okonkwo; debunking menstruation myths and misconceptions Dr Ofiaeli Ogo (Consultant Paediatrician NAUTH, President-elect MWAN Anambra); demonstration of pad use by Cynthia Anigbogu; Corrections for the quiz questions by Dr Mbachu Chioma (Consultant Pediatrician NAUTH and School health programme coordinator)

The HOD Science and Technology, PPSSC, Nnewi, Mrs Pat Salome appreciated MWAN Anambra State for the campaign to teach adolescents how to manage their menstruation hygienically, and encouraged the students to share the teachings they received and practice what they were taught.

In her response, the Zonal Director of ASUBEB Nnewi Zone, Mrs Pat Mgbenwelu noted that hygienic management of menstruation is critical for the wellbeing of every girl and young woman’s wellbeing.

She thanked MWAN Anambra for organizing such an event, and called on MWAN and other non-governmental organizations to donate changing rooms and other facilities that would ensure safer management of menstruation in school.

The President of MWAN Anambra called on the government, relevant stakeholders and the society to support young women and girls to manage their menstruation hygienically and in a dignified manner.

“Safe sanitary products such as sanitary pads should be made easily affordable and accessible to menstruating girls and young women. Adequate WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities and changing rooms should be provided in schools to enable girls manage and maintain personal hygiene during menstruation.

“Active menstrual hygiene teaching should be fully integrated into primary and secondary school curriculum, school health programme and preventive adolescent health programmes. All forms of stigmatization and discrimination against women due to myths and taboos should stop.

“We wish to appreciate the Director Anambra State PPSSC, Nnewi Zone, Mrs Amaka Umennadi, the Zonal Director ASUBEB Nnewi Zone, Mrs Pat Mgbenwelu and the HOD Science and Technology PPSSC Nnewi Zone, Mrs Salome Ikeanyi for their efforts towards making the event a huge success and for gracing the occasion, and Mrs Ann Ikwuka the host school’s Principal for the warm reception.

On Thursday May 18, 2023, MWAN Anambra also partnered with UNIKK Kids foundation and a team of pediatricians from NAUTH Nnewi to train students of St Pauls Model Secondary School, Oba Anambra State on hygienic management of menstruation.



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