A forum to highlight the importance of menstrual hygiene management among young girls has been held in Accra.
At the forum, which was organised by GHOne under the theme “Period Not Shame’, Nana Aba Anamoah, an astute broadcaster with the EIB Network said: “It is absolutely a shame that after 61 years of independence our girls in rural areas have no access to proper sanitary materials. We need to do better”.
She said some traditional beliefs must be re-examined so as not to put girls at a disadvantage. “Isn’t it strange that in 21st century Ghana girls are kept away from school because they are menstruating and the river god abhors bad blood?” she questioned.
The Forum follows stories aired on GHOne about communities treating the subject of menstruation as a taboo, and highlights some of the materials young girls in rural areas use when menstruating.
She thanked Jeanine Hage-Ali, Managing Director of Fay International Limited, for donating sanitary pads to be given to girls in the Northern Region.
Jeanine Hage-Ali in response said that Faytex sanitary pads is very passionate about menstrual hygiene and was ready to come on board when contacted to support this cause.
Present at the event were Dr. Patrick Aboagye, Director of Family Planning Services of the Ghana Health Service (GHS); Frank Fuseini Adongo, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister; and Philomena Buckman of National Programmes Coordinator, Girls Education Unit.
Roberta Seyeram, a student of the Presbyterian Senior High School, attested to the fact that indeed their male colleagues tease them when they stain their school uniforms during their menses.
Dr. Appiah Kubi, a gynaecologist at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge) explained that if the clothes that were used by girls and women during their menstruation were not washed every day and sun-dried properly, it could increase their risk of infections.
“It is important to educate them rather than shame them during this time,” he added.