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Health News of Sunday, 31 May 2020

Source: GNA

Institutions urged to help break myths on menstruation

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, has called for a collective approach by institutions to change the myths and other social perceptions on menstruation.

He said in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was the need to educate adolescent girls about menstrual hygiene and help deal with various misconceptions.

The Minister was speaking at the Menstrual Hygiene Day Virtual Seminar to mark the World Menstrual Hygiene Day, which celebrated annually in May.

This years was dubbed "It is time for action" and it was observed using media interviews, short films, among others to sensitise females on good menstrual management practices.

The sessions were used to throw light on the challenges the girls faced, especially during the outbreak of COVID-I9, whereby financial constraints did not give them easy access to menstrual products and toilet facilities due to closure of schools.

Dr Prempeh indicated that over 800 million females worldwide menstruate daily and faced challenges concerning proper menstrual management.

Due to some taboos surrounding the monthly flow, resulting in social stigma, women and girls were prevented from going to work or school during their periods, he expressed concern, adding that, that prevented them from reaching their potentials.

He, therefore, called on stakeholders to empower girls and women to take up their economic opportunities despite the barriers.

Anne-Claire Dufay, Country Director of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said though girls' absenteeism in school had been associated to their periods, data was needed to back the fact that there were interventions to reduce it.

Nana Esi Inkoom, Director for the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) of the Ghana Education Service, pledged SHEP, together with Non-Governmental Organisations would provide schools with non-sanitary facilities to assist females to maintain good menstrual hygiene.