Our Founder/CEO, Dr. Jennifer Braimah was recently featured in an exclusive interview jointly conducted and published by the Africa Signal Magazine and Social Enterprise Newspaper in Abuja Nigeria. She talked about the Foundation’s efforts over the last decade and innovations the Organisation will be promoting in the coming months.
Dr. Braimah explained that the Foundation was established in 2008 with her husband so they could help people living across diverse rural communities, many of whom had challenges over water and sanitation, reproductive health and support services, sexually transmitted infections, cleft palate deformities, burns, malaria and hepatitis.
She talked about her experience at the Women Deliver Conference which was held in Vancouver – Canada on the 3rd – 6th of June, 2019. At the Conference, she was exposed to social and economic networks that showcased women in diverse humanitarian and for-profit enterprises.
While addressing question regarding the activities of the Foundation, she highlighted contributions in terms of delivering commodities, interventions, services and advocacy initiatives in communities. Over 200,000 sanitary pads have been donated to several IDP camps and schools by the Foundation in the last four years.
Speaking further, she disclosed that “in 2012, IRFI activated her outreach programme which provides food and non-food items, including essential medicines to women and children in schools, rural communities and IDPs camps. That programme has been expanded to include free cervical cancer screening, breast self-examination, Hepatitis B&C and HPV screening as well as vaccination at various locations in Abuja. With the support of the American government, the Foundation has equally provided rural communities in Edo State with lavatories and water reservoirs”.
Jennifer Braimah noted that in the last ten years, engagement with the media, policy makers and the public through speaking engagements, paper presentations and advocacy has been focused on the need to amplify good public health tenets, enlightenment about safe water, sanitation and hygiene, menstrual hygiene management, eliminating sexual and gender based violence, female genital mutilation, family planning, sexual reproductive health and rights, work life balance and ending open defecation.
In the course of the interview, she observed that multi-pronged issues of Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriage, Low Female Enrollment in Schools and Skills Acquisition Centres, Dehumanizing Menstrual Practices, Sexual and Gender Based Violence persist in Nigeria. She also reiterated IRFI’s mandate which entails bringing life-saving healthcare interventional information, services, commodities and infrastructures to the doorstep of every citizen of Nigeria, especially vulnerable women, children and persons living with disabilities who reside in rural areas as well as those displaced from their homes by conflict, violence, natural and man-made disasters.
She used the opportunity to announce plans for scaling up our wide impact menstrual hygiene intervention with the introduction of Menstrual Cups in Nigeria. According to her, “the future of social Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management is in the proper orientation and use of Menstrual Cups. They are made with safe and hygienic medical grade silicone, last for 10 years, collect blood in the vaginal canal for 12 hours, mitigate foul menstrual of odor, require minimal water to wash and are changed only once on a daily basis. They come in 3 different sizes and meet the Menstrual Needs of every category of menstruating young girls, women and transgender individuals. They are environmentally friendly, financially tenable, reusable and biodegradable”.