BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
UNDERSECRETARY of the Ministry Of Health and Medical Services Dr Nemia Bainivalu says his ministry is deeply committed to ensuring health of women and girls through access to proper sanitary products.
He expressed this statement at the recent occasion of the World Menstrual Hygiene day commemorated this week in Honiara.
“My ministry is deeply committed in ensuring the health of women and girls through access to proper sanitary products to women and by improving access to safe sanitation facilities for women.
“This initiative of supporting them (women and girls) to have good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) with regards to access safe sanitary products is one important aspect my ministry has considered.”
He said this is to assist them (women and girls) to manage menstruation hygienically and their dignity and on how they can improve their self-confidence while contributing to their health.
“Because good menstrual hygiene is therefore crucial for their (girls and women) health, education and dignity, which requires access to appropriate material and facilities,” said Bainivalu.
He furthered, they (women and girls) also sometimes unfortunate to articulate their needs and the problems of poor menstrual hygiene management health due to the taboo surrounding menstruation in the society and the lack of information on the process of menstruation, the physical and physiological changes associated with puberty and proper requirements for managing menstruations.
He said this shows that there is a need for his ministry and its partner ministry, donors and bilateral agencies to step in and work closely with them (women and girls) to address the needs and problems of poor menstrual hygiene management which have been ignored or misunderstood by the society.
Bainivalu also underscored that beliefs and norms of family and communities with regards to menstrual hygiene management needs a change as well.
“This is because women and girls have the right to know about so many issues which touch them directly or indirectly now or later,” he said.