Makoko comes to mind whenever we hear about underserved communities in Lagos, Nigeria. Makoko, considered the “Venice of Africa”, a floating slum just over the 3rd Mainland bridge, is home to an estimated 100,000 Egun people. A community such as this is overwhelmingly deprived of basic amenities and it is no surprise that their healthcare system is in shambles.
Mr. Ayinde Benjamin, a son to the community’s Baale, a headmaster and a community activist, who supports external organizations told CHSS that the community has only one Primary Healthcare Center built 5 years ago by “DoctorsWithout Borders”. A more alarming fact is that this primary healthcare center was shut down for community reasons and no one has been developed since then. The people of Makoko are left with only unequipped privately-owned hospitals, such as Minangan hospital hardly enough for good healthcare they end of going to neighboring communities to seek medical help.
Although CHSS’s last visit to Makoko equipped Minangan hospital which functions as the only healthcare center, CHSS’s focus on Makoko’s healthcare systems is notl imited at all, and includes young girls and their menstrual hygiene. A special case is the Period Poverty experienced by young girls in Makoko and CHSS pledges to fight it especially through menstrual health education. Period poverty is a serious health problem for communities like Makoko and should not be trivialized. According toUNICEF Nigeria2, availability and adequacy of WASH facilities, adequacy and flow of information on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) and access to materials for hygiene management of menstruation all impacted the girl’s experience of menstruation.
CHSS aims to deliver health education to these girls in order to help them becomeequal partners in their menstrual healthcare by educating them on their MHM andproviding products. In January 2019, CHSS’s founder, Mopelola Hamza, explored Makoko community and discovered many girls were uninformed about their MHM. 3in 5 girls could not afford menstrual healthcare products. This discovery ignited a relationship with the Makoko community to help these young girls by ensuring they pledged to achieve high Menstrual Hygiene Management moving forward.