AGL celebrates World Menstrual Hygiene Day  


Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL), through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation (GFGF), in collaboration with the Women in Mining (WIM) and Ladies in Mining and Allied Professions (LiMAP-Ghana), have celebrated ‘World Menstrual Hygiene Day’ with students at Huni Valley Senior High School (SHS) in the Western Region.

 It was on the theme: ‘Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030’.

The day’s commemoration emphasised on removing the barriers to menstruation in schools, and establishing the fact that every female who menstruates should be able to manage her menstrual cycle with dignity and comfort.

According to AGL, this is to contribute to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), that is: “Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all”, the appropriate and necessary approaches for students (girl-children) to manage their menstruation with dignity must be put in place.

And to establish AGL’s commitment as a mine in achieving this, the foundation distributed free sanitary pads to every girl at the school as a way of alleviating the stress and cost of sanitary pads during menstruation, as well as the major health hazards associated with using other unapproved materials.

Mrs. Catherine Kuupol Kuutor, Acting General Manager of AGL, speaking at the event, said: “As a mine, we believe that lack of a safe place to menstruate, inability to manage menstrual hygiene and the lack of medication to alleviate menstruation related pain can all contribute to greater rates of school absenteeism and poor academic performances among female students”.

According to him, studies have shown that school attendance and performance of girls deteriorate when they are unable to appropriately manage menstruation in school.

“Unlike in the past, women are now offered equal opportunities at work and to fill roles previously reserved for men. Abosso Goldfields Limited has adopted and is working toward achieving 30% women proportion in its workforce by 2030. This also contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 5 – increasing the proportion of women in the workforce. Women made up 16 percent of the population in 2016, rising to 21 percent in 2020 and on track to reach 30 percent by 2030. In order to achieve this, more ladies are encouraged to pursue science related courses in schools,” she added.

She mentioned that: “AGL is dedicated to the long-term growth of its catchment communities. However, we recognise that we will not be able to meet all of the needs of the communities, but we commit to do our best in an open and honest manner.”

Mr. Joseph Sampson, Prestea Huni Valley Director of the Health Directorate, said: “menstruation should be normal part of life and that stigma and discrimination should be a thing of the past”.

He praised women in leadership position in the municipality for the continuous education on menstrual hygiene, and called on queen mothers to join the crusade in promoting good menstrual hygiene.

Mrs. Ama Tommy, Municipal Public Health nurse, in a presentation on menstruation explained that: “Changing sanitary during menstruation should be regular depending on the flow of the individual; wash your vulva and keep the place dry”.

Also, she said: “Dispose the sanitary pad by wrapping it in an old newspaper and a plastic bag before putting it into the dustbin”.

She encouraged the adolescents to eat well-nourished diet such as animal protein, fruits and vegetables, some carbohydrates, cereals as well as drink a lot of water.

Mrs. Pearl Arkoh, Assistant Headmistress of the Huni Valley Senior High School, expressed gratitude to AGL for supporting the school continuously.

“AGL, through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, is putting up a 350-bed capacity dormitory to house female students in order to help reduce the number female students living in off-campus hostels,” she said.

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