Almost Always-Bad: Made in Nigeria Pads

September 10, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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Fatimah Bakare-Dickson



In recent years, I have lived and come to terms with major problems associated with Nigerian sanitary pads. It literally became a part of me, apart from the cramps that came with the season; one that I have mastered the art and act of dealing with, I have lived with severe skin irritations because I thought it was peculiar to my skin type, these irritations would be trailed with a few more days of discomfort.


Over the years, I have observed the negative effects of sanitary pads, which I cannot do without. During each period, I noticed the hotness, bruise like, slight pepper like discomfort on my lower butt and thigh area whenever having either a normal or heavy flow. These symptoms will often persist for between two to five days, subsequently the skin will peel off and I’ll be fine.


I saw it as one of the problems associated with being a woman and will have to live with it.


After so many complains to the closest person that always feels my aggression a few days after my period, my husband, he checked and came to the conclusion that it was skin irritation. He further noticed bruises around the lower butts area close to the vagina. I suspected that as I walk while menstruating, the movement of the lower butt on the pad surface causes discomfort to my skin.


My husband suggested I should try other sanitary pads and see the effect, is it a case of the same difference, or would there actually be a difference?


He proceeded to buy several brands of sanitary ware, and being a regular air traveler we started the experiment with a few that he bought during a trip to the U.S.. The difference was clear, and well, after use he purchased another three different kinds of sanitary pads that were made in China. The first thing I noticed about all the foreign sanitary pads was as follows:


The composition of the first sanitary pads were well outlined and often consisted of a first layer of premium cotton surface-soft and comfort, a second layer of Magnetic, anion and far infrared Strip that helps avoid odor and relieve menstrual discomforts.


Another third layer was of super absorbent polymer – High absorbent and keeping the surface dry.


Equally noted was that many of these brands were made of non-woven cloth and American down cotton fluff with ultra-wide wings.


These beautifully packaged sanitary pads, ranged from 18 pieces with several free panty liners. And then typical of many a woman we look at the cost, which ranged between N450 and above.


Before you run off on me, was this supposed to be about types of sanitary pads, or which was better, no. I decided to guinea pig myself, as I tested many of these pads over a period of a two years. Alas, I no longer have rashes and discomfort. The cotton translated to comfort.


So, I went back to the old sanitary ware, the most popular sanitary pad supposedly manufactured in Nigeria for Nigerian women. I observed the following, apart from the punishment it had inflicted on many Nigerian women and me, its composition was cellulose, polyethylene and polypropylene pet with a debatable super absorbent claim.


It came only in packs of 7 pieces and at the same price of N450, I will reserve my comment about its packaging. Looking at this particular composition and the packaging of made in Nigeria pad, it appears that we are lesser women who just need a nylon bag for menses.


The Made in Nigeria sanitary pad is the most expensive sanitary pad that does not care about the comfort of a Nigerian woman. On the 7th of March 2018, Niyi Oyedeji wrote in ?the Nigerian Tribune “Period poverty: How Nigerian ladies struggle to afford sanitary pad” this is a shame on Made in Nigeria products to be more expensive than foreign ones that do the job even better.


The foreign sanitary pads manufacturers look into peculiar problems of women, which basically are discomfort during menstruation and address the need for super absorbent skin friendly sanitary pads at affordable prices.


Also, you need just a pack of a foreign sanitary pads against two packs of the Made in Nigeria brand.


However, I am not a marketing expert but a patriotic Nigerian who wants improvements in the manufacturing industries especially the one that affects women and children. These sanitary pads are not up to the International Standard, which we as Women are compelled to use and accept as the best because of the marketing strategy that manufacturing company puts in place.


Therefore, the Standards Organization of Nigeria should look into these sanitary pads and diapers both locally made and imported. I do not know what the Chinese manufacturers conjured to give me a skin friendly sanitary pad, other active ingredients may contain injurious chemicals to the body as one of the sanitary pads contains substance that smells like a mild menthol.


To digress a little on a similar pad issues, Nigeria has become a consuming nation over the years with viral reports of braziers that has chemical components that causes discomfort and rashes to the breast. No one knows what the manufactures intend to achieve with gel like substances, used as cupped or pad in a brazier.


With foreign sanitary pads, I no longer have discomfort and skin irritation. But I do not have the capacity to understand the functions of the other active ingredients in the sanitary pads.


The SON and NAFDAC should take a close look at these issues relating to women and children so as to have a healthy mother and child for sustainable growth and development. We like to say in these parts a word is enough…not only for the wise but even the foolish.





Fatimah Bakare-Dickson

Fatimah Dickson is a Bachelor of Film Art Graduate, she is a homemaker, and a documentation affectionado, involved in civic discuss across gender and children issues. She runs REEL DOCUMENTARIES, a not-for-profit outfit that utilizes the media in promoting change amongst women and children, and can be reached on 234 8034740500, [email protected]

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