The sanitary pad is a basic and essential commodity for every woman. Sadly, there is a drastic rise in the price of sanitary pads in Nigeria and this has become a major concern for women, especially low income earners and young girls.
There are different brands of sanitary pads in the Nigerian market – Always, Lady Care, Diva and Everyday.
The single pack of the most popular one which sold between N200 and N250 now sells for N400, while the double pack which sold between N350 and N400 now sells for N700.
Another popular brand, which sold for N170 now sells for N250.
“Sanitary pads should be an item that shouldn’t be expensive. The last time I bought it, the price was N370. It has affected the number of times I change. I change five times a day, but I have had to cut it down.” Moji lamented.
The implication of this price hike is that women’s personal hygiene is threatened as a pad shouldn’t be worn for more than five hours, after which it should be changed to avoid infection.
If women who are working are complaining, what then should be the reactions of those who are not?
Some girls are forced to stay away from school during their period because they can’t afford to buy pads and the alternatives they use are not stain proof or comfortable. Some young women now use alternatives like rags, old towels, toilet paper etc.
A teacher and a mother of two, Mrs. Angela lamented the increase in the price of commodities with no increase in her salary.
According to her, “Mothers buy sanitary pad for their children out of pain, because they must. They don’t want their children embarrassed when blood start trickling down their body. The same for mothers themselves.”
Emmanuella said, “I use one sanitary pad for five hours, then I use wipes for the rest of the day.”
While vagina wipes can be a good alternative for some women, it depends on how heavy one’s flow is. Women with heavy or longer flows sometimes use more than one pack of pads in a month depending on how many times they change in a day.
One of the best way to manage the present increase in the cost of sanitary pads is to get reusable pads, but they are not readily available.
Sanitary products are vital for the health and well-being of young women and should be affordable.