Blessing Ebonguko hosts Menstrual Health Workshop for young Girls in Obot Akara Schools
Wife of the Honourable Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Akwa Ibom State Lady Blessing Ebonguko yesterday, Monday 4th October, 2021 hosted a One Day Menstrual Health and Awareness Workshop for young Girls In Public Schools In Obot Akara Local Government Area at the Council Hall, Nto Edino.
Lady Ebonguko who organized the Worshop under the auspices of her NGO, WHISPERS WITH LADY B as part of activities to mark her 50th in her address thanked God Almighty for granting her grace to reach her Golden jubilee on earth.
She also lauded the First Lady of Akwa Ibom State and wife of the Governor, Her Excellency, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel, who she acknowledged inspired her to host the workshop for championing the campaign for the welfare of the Girl-child and Women in general with special care for widows, pregnant women and nursing mothers and the physically challenged or vulnerable people in the State.
She expressed gratitude to her husband, Rt. Hon. Sir Monday Ebonguko, who she said has stood by her over the years and made a wife, sister and mother out of her for encouraging her all the way and supporting her project and prayed God to preserve and prosper him more.
Speaking on the Theme: of the Workshop, Menstrual Cycle and the Reproductive Health of the Girl-child, Lady Ebonguko thanked her high profile guests and all who turned up for the well attended workshop adding that it is very important for young girls to receive education on the challenges the face as they approach the age of puberty and be aware of how to maintain proper hygiene while menstruating.
Ebonguko flayed factors include that pose threats to the welfare of the Girl-child including poverty, sexual and gender based violence, teenage pregnancy, family responsibilities, sex trafficking, forced early marriages, traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, girls and ignorance of menstrual hygiene or sex education all of which make it difficult for young girls to focus on their education.
The Lead Speaker at the Workshop, Dr Candy Edidiong Etokakpan of the General Hospital, Ikot Ekpene speaking on the theme: Menstrual Cycle and the Reproductive Health, while felicitating with Lady Ebonguko on the milestone observed that factors that affect young girls Reproductive health include ‘period poverty’ or lack of capacity for menstrual hygiene management.
While charging girls not to be ashamed of their menstrual cycle counselled them on washing hands and maintaining good hygiene, use of sanitary menstrual materials, avoiding shaving their pubic hair while menstruating or washing the vagina with medicated soap and avoiding sex as tips for safe hygienic management of their periods, Dr Etokakpan taught them how to observe and manage their ovulation cycle and stressed the need for abstinence from sex to avoid premarital pregnancy and focus on their education. She equally enjoined the young girls to engage in light exercise and drink enough water during their monthly cycle
Also speaking on the theme: Girls Uphold Your Dignity and Why it Matters, Wife of Dr Ukpong, the former Honourable Commissioner for Health and now Special Adviser on Health, Mrs Nelly Ukpong commended Lady Ebonguko for organizing the workshop and tasked the girls on te need to maintain their integrity and avoid early sex, prostitution, bad company, peer pressure and to speak up whenever they face or are in danger of sexual abuse or molestation so as to get help.
On her path, the Coordinator of the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative, FEYReP,Mrs Ime Ephraim Inyangeyen represented by Mrs Aniebietabasi Akpan (Gender Desk Officer, FEYReP), congratulated the facilitator and said the Workshop was a timely intervention to enable young girls acquire knowledge on promoting good MENSTRUAL Hygiene management.
In her goodwill message, the Executive Chairman of Obot Akara Local Government Area, Hon Mrs Agnes Udoenweme commended Lady Ebonguko for the gesture observing that, back in time, people shied away from discussing the all important issue of puberty and sex education and urged the young girls to take advantage of the Workshop to not only learn but teach others who are not privileged to be in the workshop. She on behalf of the good people of Obot Akara congratulated Lafy Ebonguko, herself a former First Lady of the council for her public spirited services and prsyed God to grant her many more years of fruitful services to humanity.
In a chat with newsmen, wife of the Executive Chairman of Uyo Capital City Development Authority, Mrs Inemesit Uwah described the girls of Obot Akara as lucky to have the opportunity to learn which she described as a welcome development. Mrs Uwah said Lady Ebonguko is a woman with a good heart and burning passion to contribute meaningfully to make other people great.
Prominent women who graced the workshop include, the Dean , College of Commissioners who supervises Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Glory Edet, wife of member representing Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency, Mrs Sarah Odudoh, Mrs Maureen Aniekan Umanah – Wife of the Hon. The member representing Abak, Etim Ekpo/ Ika Federal Constituency, Mrs Etiedu Sunny Ibuot – Wife of the Commissioner for Labour, Manpower and Productivity, Wife of the a for Special Duties, Mrs Ekaette Ette, Wife of the Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mrs Queen Akan Okon, Wife of the Commissioner Culture and Tourism, Mrs Joy Orman Esin, Wife of the Commissioner for Commerce and Trade, Mrs Ndifreke Ukpong Akpabio, Wife of the Executive Chairman of the Uyo Capital City Development Authority, Mrs Inemesit Uwah, Mrs Dorcas Mark Esset, Wife of Member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency and Wife of the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs Christy Uwemedimo Nwoko.
Others are, Wife of the Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Elizabeth Etim Uno, Wife of Member representing Oron State Constituency, Mrs Affiong Bassey, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel, Mrs Andino Robson, Hon. Mrs Mary Moses Akpana, Leader of Obot Akara Council Legislature, Hon. Charity Sampson who represents Nto Edino Ward in Obot Akara Legislature, mother of the celebrant, Deaconess Lucy Oscar offong, Iban Obot Akara among many others.
Highlight of the occasion was the handing of a sanitary pad pack to the young girls selected from several secondary schools in Obot Akara and a picture session with Lady Ebonguko. The students expressed appreciation to Lady Ebonguko for reaching