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Regional News of Saturday, 19 June 2021

Source: Michael Oberteye, Contributor

Water Aid Ghana, ACDEP educate women on menstrual hygiene

Women educated on how to maintain good menstrual hygiene Women educated on how to maintain good menstrual hygiene

Water Aid Ghana in collaboration with the Akuapem Community Development Programme (ACDEP) on Thursday 17th June 2021 organized an advocacy campaign at Adawso to educate market women and others from the community, especially young women, on the need to ensure good menstrual hygiene.

The programme was originally scheduled to coincide with the World Menstrual Hygiene Day observed on the 28th of May which basically seeks to address the many challenges young women face during Menstrual periods and various ways of managing the situation.

Participants were drawn from market women groups, kayayes, truck pushers, okada riders, barbers, beauticians and hairdressers, seamstress among others.

Various speakers who addressed the women enlightened them on the need to use clean menstrual management materials to absorb blood that can be changed in privacy as often as possible and disposing of them appropriately and safely.

Menstruating women were also advised to take their bath at least twice a day during the period.

Explaining the rationale behind the event in his key-note address on behalf of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), the Deputy Director of the Akuapem North Municipal Assembly, Mr. Alhassan Yahaya pointed out programme seeks to break the stigma surrounding menstrual period among women.

He stressed that it behoves on every woman to embrace the education that was given. “This is an opportunity for all to have access on what women need to effectively manage their menstrual periods,” he said.

Again, he said the programme was aimed at breaking the silence and create the needed awareness by changing negative social norms which were hardly mentioned in our homes.

Mr. Alhassan Yahaya expressed regret at the poor menstrual hygiene which, he noted, accounted for the high prevalence of Urinary Truck Infections (UTIs) among women in the communities and therefore challenged them to take advantage of the occasion and gather more information to what they already have in order to avoid contamination during menstrual cycles.

On her part, Madam Eunice Eshun who is the Municipal Girl Coordinator for schools applauded organizers of the programme, adding that this had come at the right time to buttress what the Ghana Education Service was already doing in schools within the municipality.

Describing menstrual periods as normal changes that occur in adolescents and women within certain stages, she said most teenage girls and women need guidance and education to adequately take care of the situation.

The Municipal Girl Coordinator was of the opinion that even in the 21st Century, women in certain communities, especially among school girls still insert materials such as cotton, panties, socks, dry leaves, rags and other improper materials into their private parts to stop menstrual bleedings, adding that these to a large extent affect their womb and lead to bareness.

She called on parents and teachers to commit a little in educating the girl-child to assimilate menstrual tips by providing them with menstrual pads and essential materials to prevent her being lured by men into promiscuity which eventually leads to teenage pregnancy.

Madam Eunice Eshun also attributed the higher academic performance of boys compared to girls to the mockery and shame suffered in the hands of boys during their menstrual periods and appealed to institutions, philanthropists, NGOs and well-endowed individuals to extend assistance to vulnerable girls and women groups in communities.

Officials of the Ghana Health Services and Water Aid all took turns to address the women by demonstrating the appropriate lining of sanitary pad in ladies underwear and the hygienic ways of taking care of themselves during menstrual cycles.

Present at the programme were the Municipal Environmental Department, Reps from GES, Deputy and Assistant Directors from the Assembly, Senior Nurses, Adawso Market Queen and market women, Adawso Abontehene, ACDEP Reps and Water Aid, Representatives.