Olabode Ekerin – The WiseUp Initiative “Safe Period” Project
The “Safe Period” Project is apart of The WiseUp Initiative, a non-governmental organization committed to increasing access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for all Nigerians. During the community and primary health care rotation in a rural community in Lagos, Nigeria, founder Olabode Ekerin discovered that a lot of women and girls are poor so cannot afford menstrual hygiene management products to keep them safe during their menstrual period. Most of them resort to using leaves, paper or even rags for their period, which is highly unhygienic.
Most of the girls also miss between 3 to 5 days of school each month because they cannot afford the menstrual hygiene management products needed to manage their period. This has had serious health and educational consequences like getting infected with various reproductive and urinary tract disease, falling behind in class, being held back or dropping out of school. Some others resort to risky behaviors like transactional sex to pay for essential items like menstrual pad, which increases a girl’s vulnerability to premature sexual debut, early or unplanned pregnancy, child marriage and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.
To solve this problem, his organization has launched the “Safe Period” Project, which is targeted at educating adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene management and how to make their own reusable pad. The grant from The Pollination Project will help to get all the necessary materials and equipment needed to support and train the girls.