Cameroon celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day by providing reusable sanitary pads to underprivileged girls uprooted by terrorism and the separatist turmoil. Some girls stated they’d never seen tampons. Sensitization teams seek to stop stigmatizing menstruating females.
Hundreds of girls uprooted by the separatist unrest in Cameroon’s English-speaking parts received reusable sanitary pads, trousers, soap, and buckets in Yaounde. Donor groups and the government handed out “dignity kits” Saturday to assist women, as well as girls, maintain good hygiene.
Ernestine Mbih, 14, was expelled by separatists from Babanki, Cameroon’s English-speaking North-West region. Mbih spoke for kit recipients.
“At the end of each month, we wonder where we’ll obtain money to purchase [sanitary] pads, but with this pad, we’re very happy,” she added. Some females will be less likely to get pregnant while buying a pad. We’re pleased they provided us the things we should have as women and girls.”
Mbih added some females prostitute before their periods start to get $3 for sanitary pads.
Welisane Mokwe Nkeng, the coordinator of the International Menstrual Hygiene Coalition, said displaced girls and women in Cameroon lack sanitary towels and period information.
Many girls and women don’t know how to control regular periods, so awareness is crucial, she added. We’re doing this because young ladies adopt unorthodox techniques to control their cycles, particularly during relocation. Many of them use grass, old clothing, leaves, as well as other items to pad themselves, so we wanted to provide them a healthy, dignified choice.”
Nkeng talked from Adagom, 60 km from the Nigeria border, wherein her organization distributes hygiene kits to relocated Cameroonians.
Many Cameroonians stigmatize women during their periods, officials say. Men compel their wives to lie on the floor throughout their periods because they believe it’s bad luck.
Josephine Nsono, a gender specialist in Bamenda, Cameroon’s English-speaking North-West capital, said communities must cease stigmatizing girls & women during their periods.
“This girl had a strong flow and her clothing became damaged, and instead of drawing her attention and aiding her in a polite manner, others jeered. “It stigmatizes me as a woman undergoing a natural event,” she added. Men who don’t understand menstruation hygiene overwhelm their wives.
Cameroon is creating schools and other areas with proper sanitation so women as well as girls may manage their periods. Even then it will take long years for the people, especially men to view this biological process without stigmatizing it.