International Women's Day
8th March 2020
On the occasion of International Women’s Day we are celebrating female surgeons who are trailblazers, educators, leaders, researchers and clinicians. Join us as they take over our Instagram, and chat with us over on our podcast.
Sanitary Aid for Nigerian Girls (S.A.N.G) by The Sanitary Aid Initiative
Founder: Karo Omu, of The Sanitary Aid Initiative
Objective: To provide free sanitary products including pads, soaps, wipes, disinfectant, clean underwear etc, to girls from low-income families across public schools, and girls in Internally Displaced Persons Camps across the country.
Period poverty refers to a lack of access to sanitary pads and products. It encompasses the financial constraints restricting access to these products, hygienic spaces in which to use them, and the shame and stigma attached to menstruation. Aside from being a potential health risk, period poverty jeopardises the education and well-being of the women affected. S.A.N.G (Sanitary Aid for Nigerian Girls) was created in 2017 by The Sanitary Aid Initiative to combat this phenomenon in the 65% of Nigerian women affected.
Since then, it has raised over 1 million naira towards the purchase of sanitary products for girls. Each month, a Sanitary Drive is hosted in Lagos to increase engagement, spread awareness, and collate donations for the cause. S.A.N.G has also created a handbook to educate girls on the menstrual cycle, and demystify a topic that is otherwise whispered about due to the stigma surrounding it.
The Mama Pikin Foundation
Location: Sierra Leone
Founded by: Drs Fatu Forna Sesay and Shekou Sesay
Objective: To enhance, improve and otherwise positively contribute to the health and well-being of mothers, children, and families in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Mama-Pikin means “mother-child” in Krio, a language widely spoken in Sierra Leone. The Mama Pikin Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in response to the high maternal and child mortality rates in the country. It is currently operational in four districts in Sierra Leone, supporting clinics through the following interventions:
1) Providing a delivery bucket to every mother who delivers at foundation supported
clinics. Each bucket contains a plastic sheet to serve as a clean surface for delivery, a Lappa (cloth) to wrap the baby, and soap. The buckets are very successful in
decreasing maternal and neonatal infections. They incentivize women to come to
the clinics to have their babies, reducing numbers of dangerous home deliveries as a result.
2) ReimbursING motorcycle taxis bringing in labouring women to the clinic. This prevents women having to walk many miles during labor.
3) Providing nutrition support for pregnant women in birth waiting homes.
4) Supporting Community Health Officers to promote clinic deliveries, breastfeeding,
and identifying at risk pregnant women and children.
In addition to its work supporting pregnant women and new mothers, the Mama Pikin Foundation has been involved with other initiatives:
1) In 2017, the foundation assisted 115 families affected by a landslide. It supported
them with food, clothing, and relocation costs. It also purchased mattresses for
families taking shelter in a school, cooking utensils, etc.
2) During the 2014 ebola epidemic, the foundation purchased bleach, soap, gloves, and other supplies for its clinics. It also conducted training for all its health workers to manage the outbreak, as well as community sensitization and education.
To learn more about the Mama Pikin Foundation, donate, or support in any way visit them at www.mamapikinfoundation.org .