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Health News of Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

National action on menstruation needed - Ama Adutwumwah

Nana Ama Adutwumwah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Touching Lives of Girls Foundation, has called on parents and counsellors to break the myth around menstruation and help adolescent girls manage it.

The CEO said national action is needed to help the public recognise how important menstruation hygiene is in the lives of girls and help them manage their menstrual flow in a hygienic manner.

Nana Adutwumwah was speaking with the Ghana News Agency on Monday as Ghana joins the rest of the global community to observe Menstrual Hygiene (MH) which falls on 28th May each year.

The MH Day is a global platform that brings non-profit making organisations, government agencies, private sector operators, media and individuals together to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management.

“We also believe that the celebration of MH Day will help break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential,” Nana Adutwumwah said.

She said the Day is important at it provides the platform for menstrual hygiene campaigners to raise global public awareness about challenges women and girls worldwide go through during their menstrual cycles.

The Day also bring to light solutions to the challenges and how to remove barriers, against school going girls confronted with the social and cultural stigma when menstruating.

“Every woman and girl can manage her menstruation in a hygienic way wherever she is, in privacy, safety and with dignity,” Nana Adutwumwah said.

Ghanaian girls in basic and second cycle schools face challenges such as inability to buy sanitary pads, loss of school contact hours during their menstrual days and inadequate waste disposal facilities.

Many of the girls also lack of privacy for changing their menstrual materials in schools and suffer leakage from poor-quality protection materials as well as lack of resources for washing.

She said limited counselling or education on keeping clean during menstruation was a worrying development among many girls in the country.

Many Ghanaian girls have limited access to counselling and guidance and fall foul to unbridled fear caused by cultural myths, she said.

“It is very unfortunate that many of the young girls are ignorant about menstruation before menarche,” she said.

“We believe by acquiring knowledge on menstrual hygiene management, the overall health status of girls will be enhanced as myths and misconceptions that surround puberty and menstruation will also be demystified,” she said.

German-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), WASH United, initiated MH Day in 2014 and acts as the International Secretariat which coordinates MH Day as well as manages an alliance of more than 410 partner organisations of which TLG Foundation in Ghana being key partner.

The Foundation in recent months collaborated with Queen Mothers in Kpando in the Volta Region and Mamponteng in Ashanti Region who rallied their support to step up menstrual hygiene campaign among young girls in their respective traditional areas.

May 28th has symbolic meaning, according to menstrual hygiene campaigners, since May is the 5th month of the year and women menstruate an average of five days every month while menstrual cycle averages 28 days.