Worldwide, women are still working to halt the taboos and stereotypes associated with menstruation. Interchanging advocacy with action brings about safe management of periods with pride and dignity that can transform the lives of women and girls around the world. This is why, as part of our CSR, Flying Doctors Nigeria has provided about a hundred girls with sanitary pads over the last week to support the Sanitary Aid for Nigerian Girls initiative.
Every female child transits from childhood into puberty at some point and one of the hallmark changes involved is a monthly flow of blood known as menstruation. Some refer to it as the period; others shorten the word to refer to it as menses. As this is a private period for a woman, it is not uncommon for young girls to refer to it as “the red lady”, “the monthly visitor”, “Aunty Flo”, “Cousin Red”, “women’s trouble”, “that time of the month” or say they “have the painters in”. They do this whenever they are within the earshot of a person of the male gender or a stranger in a bid to avoid having to cause the listener to cringe.
Menstruation is a sensitive subject all over the world, but more so in developing countries. There is a typical lack of information, education and resources both at home and schools to help young girls go about their personal care during these periods. A lot of it is due to the myths and stigmas surrounding the topic even though this process is as natural as breathing and sleeping, and has been happening to people since the dawn of humanity. Young girls, especially those who have just hit puberty are not taught early enough what to expect and are terrified when they first see their period.
Where they are well educated about their periods and taught to manage menstruation without shame, girls are more confident in their bodies and the changes it goes through. This information and empowerment, if given early will go a long way in lowering barriers to development and will cause positive changes in communities around the world, especially developing nations. It is also important to inform families, teachers and communities about the topic to drive out faulty beliefs and to aid the formation of a supportive environment where menstruation can be discussed openly without embarrassment and stigma.
Also, in honor of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day, here are some of the tips to maintain hygiene during periods:
- Choose an appropriate sanitary towel – There’s a variety to choose from i.e. sanitary cloth, sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups. Depending on accessibility, affordability and ease of use, choose the best one for you.
- Keep clean: As much as possible, change sanitary towels frequently, have your bath at least twice a day (morning and evening).
- Rest and Eat Well: Eat meal rich in protein and Iron, do not indulge in alcohol and smoking, rest well and exercise lightly.
- Keep warm: Keep your stomach and lower back areas warm, especially during cramps.
- Properly dispose used sanitary towel in a plastic bag and discard in a bin .
Flying Doctors Air Ambulance CSR program
To read more on our CSR, click here.
Air Ambulance Services and Women’s Health
Women, especially in African are more likely to die from diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and perinatal conditions (about 8 out of 1000 women die at childbirth or during pregnancy ), and nutritional deficiencies, than women in other regions. WHO reports that 1 in 4 deaths among adult women are caused by non- communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. All over the world, about 30% of all women are thought to be anaemic, at least half because of iron deficiency and most of these anaemic women live in Africa (48–57%).
When severely ill, these women require care at specialized centres that are far away from their location and cannot be navigated by road, only with air transport.
The Flying Doctors is an air ambulance service that specializes in transporting patients from a low level of care to a specialized level of care to save their lives.
To read more about our services, visit our website: www.flyingdoctorsnigeria.com
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