Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Axim (W/R), May 29, GNA - This year’s International Day for Menstrual Hygiene has been marked at Axim in the Western Region with a call on parents and guardians to financially support their adolescent girls to manage their menstruation hygienically.
Mrs Efua Sam Bonku, the Municipal Co-ordinator of the School Health Education Programme, said girls between ages nine and 14, who had their menstruation every month, were not economically-resourced to afford sanitary materials.
She said parents and guardians were mandated to support the children to buy such sanitary materials in order to avoid the temptation of seeking those materials from men who could take undue advantage of them.
Menstruation is basically the monthly flow of blood and cellular debris from the uterus of non-pregnant girls and women through the vagina. It often lasts between three to seven days and ceases at menopause.
Mrs Bonku said lack of education on menstrual hygiene among girls of school-going age often resulted in absenteeism and low academic performances.
She, therefore, advocated for the provision of basic facilities in the schools such as water, soap and changing rooms where the girls could clean and protect themselves when they experienced their menstruation during school hours.
Mrs Bonku advised teenage girls to avoid using rags, toilet rolls, old news papers and other unhygienic materials to protect themselves during menstruation since that could result in vaginal infections.
She advised the pupils to see menstruation as a biological phenomenon that every female went through and not as a taboo as pertained in some cultures.
Mr George Dorgbetor, the Project Manager of Opportunity Industrialisation Centre International (OICI), a non-governmental organisation, said menstrual hygiene management aimed at eliminating school drop-out among teenage girls, prevent pregnancy, and contribute to positive behaviour change and improved health.
The forum was on the theme: “Menstruation Matters to Everybody, Everywhere” and observed globally on May 28 to create awareness on menstrual hygiene management and break the myth surrounding it.
It was organised by OICI and funded by the Tweneboah, Enyera, Ntomme (TEN) partners including Tullow Ghana Limited, Kosmos Energy, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Anadarko and Petro South Africa under the WASH in School project.
Some of the pupils expressed appreciation to the organisers saying the forum had enhanced their knowledge and understanding of menstrual hygiene which would impact positively on their lives.