Two non-governmental organisations, Afrika Nyornu and The Ho Sisters Association, have sensitised girls at the Ho Roman Catholic Girls and Methodist JHS & Basic Schools on the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM).
The exercise was held in commemoration of the International Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD), an annual event to educate the girl-child on menstrual hygiene and promote the use of safe methods/ products during such periods.
Afrika Nyornu and The Ho Sisters marked this year’s event with a focus on working to break the silence around menstruation, tackling the stigma often associated with it, and also raising awareness of the importance of menstrual hygiene for women and girls.
The Founder of Afrika Nyornu Organisation, Gifty Maloe Nartey, said both sexes should be engaged on issues of menstrual hygiene since boys who are potential fathers and husbands ought to understand how the female body works, and be ready to support them when they go through that period without stigmatising them. In her view, boys and men should be included in menstrual hygiene management practices because it is the only way to level the fields.
Mrs. Gifty Nartey further stated that it is important that all females should have access to good sanitary materials, and not be using materials such as pieces of clothes, cement papers, and other unhygienic materials during that time of the month.
As part of the sensitisation activities, the two NGOs distributed ‘goodie bags’ including sanitary products and related medicinal products to female pupils and female teachers to last for at least a quarter of the year.
On her part, the Founder of The Ho Sisters Association who doubles as the General Secretary, Anita Sankumah, during the presentation said: “Access to sanitary products, safe and hygienic spaces to use them, and the right to manage menstruation without shame or stigma is essential for anyone who menstruates”.
The President of The Ho Sisters Association, Rose Dufe, advised girls to stay away from pre-marital sex in the name of getting money for the sanitary pad; instead, they should try to save from the little monies that come their way, or engage in petty jobs that could earn them money to buy menstrual materials.
The NGOs also took the opportunity to appeal to government to scrap taxes on sanitary pads to make them affordable to teenagers.
About the NGOs
Afrika Nyornu Organisation has the objective of promoting reproductive health and the provision of sanitary pads to needy students. The organisation, according to the founder, also offers health screening and mental health education for schools and organisations.
The vision is to take the lead in resolving community-based needs for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Ho Sisters Association is a Ho-based NGO for social causes. They have been undertaking philanthropic activities over the past few years in the areas of education, health and general well-being of the less privileged.