As part of its projects to support the menstrual hygiene and wellbeing of young girls in Nigeria, the United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) has rolled out the distribution of 40,000 Kotex Sanitary Pads – a donation from U.S. multinational corporation Kimberly-Clark.
A statement from the United States Embassy, noted that over a six-month period, this initiative will reach more than 6,000 adolescent girls between 10 and 19 years old in Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Edo, Kano, Lagos, Niger, and Taraba states.
“Young women and girls in Nigeria face different challenges managing their menstruation across varying socio-cultural, economic, and environmental contexts. These challenges include inadequate knowledge about proper menstruation management and lack of access to good menstrual hygiene management materials, which have far-reaching consequences,” the statement read in part.
USAID Deputy Office Director for Health, Mieko McKay was quoted as saying at the handover ceremony in Lagos that “The lack of access to menstrual hygiene resources has a serious impact on school attendance. This collaboration is a great example of how USAID engages with the private sector to improve the well-being, reproductive health, and school attendance of adolescent girls.”
Kimberly-Clark’s Government Relations Manager, Nigeria and East Africa, Zainab Obagun said, “We strongly believe in investments that go beyond monetary endowments to create sustainable programs that demystify stigmas that affect the girl child.” She added, “This donation will empower more than 6,000 adolescent girls to benefit from USAID’s health interventions across Nigeria.” and improve their menstrual hygiene.
The statement further revealed that since 2020, USAID has reached over 500,000 orphans and vulnerable children through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This initiative provides comprehensive social welfare services to improve family stability and resilience. “Kimberly-Clark and USAID implementing partner, Association for Reproductive and Family Health, signed the agreement for the donation on January 28, 2022.”