A student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Abass Oyeyemi has launched a foundation, Reaching Minds Foundation which aims at working towards a better life for Nigerians including those in prisons.
The foundation on October, 1 visited Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode prisons to celebrate the independence day with the female inmates alongside with providing them with some Menstrual Hygiene materials that will last them some months.
According to Mr Oyeyemi, "the Nigeria Prisons as well as other prisons in Africa is characterized by poor funding, over congestion amongst many others anomalies which has resulted in the poor health status of many inmates."
"There are a lot of worries inmates at Nigerian Prisons are faced with. But there is none that engages our interest like that of Menstrual Health. Of course, there have been cries for criminal justice reforms all over the world, and developing countries are not left out."
"Such cries has given birth to First Step Act Bill in the USA, where it was signed to law that female inmates be provided with free menstrual products to protect their rights of dignity. Looking at this bill, one will wonder how a nation as developed as the United States of America is just recognizing the need for females inmates to be given free menstrual products in 2019."
He maintained that the world needs to come to reality to see menstrual hygiene products for inmates as a necessity and not a luxury or privilege of any kind which can be debated.
He further stressed that 'while the menstrual products we donated this year might not be able to serve the inmates for long term, we are however in talks with a reusable pad company to train and empower inmates on how to produce reusable pads on their own.The reusable pads will help promote a green society that's eco friendly", he said.
"Quite apart from the undisputed reality that menstrual hygiene products is out of reach for female inmates, another worrisome snag is the absence of regular water supply in prisons. It would be agreed by many that the absence of water and soap in the cleaning up of menstruating women could lead to a myriad of infections", the foundation Lead Director concluded
When reached the Project Director of the Prison, Salawu Faizah remarked, "It is safe to say we have invested some impacts in their lives and we won't stop doing it until the world is refined and everybody has access to equal opportunities. That they're in prison does not mean that they don't have dignity".