By Patrick Obia
Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) has inaugurated a 22 member technical working group on Menstrual Hygiene and Health (MHH) program in Calabar, Cross River State capital.
The group is to serve as a cross-sectoral and inter- ministerial coordinating body for MHH in Cross River State.
The group whose members were drawn from relevant Government MDAs, CSOs, CBOs, has the mandate to advocate for reviews, formulation and enactment of policies, acts and laws in favour of MHH.
The inauguration which held inside the hall of Ministry of Women Affairs, Calabar with support from United Purpose (UP), Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) in partnership with Water And Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) Media Network.
Inaugurating the group, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Rita Ayim, charged the newly inaugurated members to push forward and keep the fire burning.
Speaking, member representing Akpabuyo State Constituency in Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Elizabeth Ironbar who doubles as Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs lauded women.
The legislator represented by Mr. Austin Okon assured that, the House will support the group in any way adding that, “when the women are healthy, families are equally healthy.”
In a brief remarks, Mrs. Mercy Ejini, a representative from the State Ministry of Health, recapped that the aim of the event is to educate women and girl child on menstrual hygiene as it is key for their well being.
“I thank the State actors especially Ministry of Women Affairs in championing gender equality in the State.”
The National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Mrs. Elizabeth Jeiyol relatively urged women not to relent their efforts, as well as participation by all and sundry.
In passionate appeal, Mrs. Juliana George, Southern Coordinator, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, Cross River State Chapter, expressed gratitude to United Purpose for putting up such program but however, appealed to those on higher authority to carry them along especially those in the rural areas.
On the area of information dissemination, the Coordinator of WASH Media Network, Mrs. Florence Oluohu averred that, “use us for people to know what RUSHPIN is doing, they must get the media involved especially its media partners to take the message to wider reach.”
According to the organizers, RUSHPIN has so far facilitated MHH education in 330 communities of Cross River State, trained 105 persons on reusable menstrual pad making and before the pandemic, carried out MHH education in 3 Schools in the State.
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