Over 200 adolescent girls head porters operating within the Timber market in Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region have received free sanitary pads and counseling on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
The counseling section with the Kayayei (head porters) on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), as well as the distribution of free sanitary pads, put together by the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), in partnership with JANOK Foundation with sponsorship from Roddenberry Foundation on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at the auditorium of Christ Apostolic Church International, Amamomo Assembly forms part of activities marking the commemoration of the 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Day.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “We are committed to creating a Ghana where every girl and woman has access to period-friendly facilities”.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with gbcghanaonline, on the sidelines of the event, the Programmes Officer for CONIWAS, Madam Emily Hammond explained that her outfit and its partners chose to engage the female adolescent head porters (Kayayei) to educate them on the need to practice safe and hygienic Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
According to her, MHM forms an essential aspect of hygiene for women and adolescent girls between menarche and menopause. Saying menstruation is not just the monthly flow of blood. It is a burden of understanding why an adolescent girl bleeds, speaks freely about her discomfort during her menses, access friendly and hygienic-sanitary materials, and knows the next monthly flow.
Meanwhile. The Programmes Director for Hope for Africa, Madam Vincentia Koranteng-Asante who took the young adolescent girls through proper MHM said most menstruating girls lack knowledge and understanding about menstruation.
“Most girls start menstruating at age 13 and are initially shy to talk about it so they need a platform like this where they are taking through some of the “dos and don’ts” on proper MHM.
“I know it is difficult and embarrassing for less privileged females who cannot afford sanitary towels during their period. Nevertheless, you pull through every month using other absorbents which may not be hygienic”. Madam Koranteng-Asante noted.
The Programmes Director for Hope for Africa said menstruation is not and will never be a choice, thus sanitary pads should be less expensive so every menstruating female can afford to practice healthy menstruation.
Due to the high cost of sanitary materials in Ghana, most women and adolescent girls have developed their own personal strategies to handle this period of time. Generally, the strategies vary significantly due to personal preferences, availability of resources, economic status, cultural traditions and beliefs, education status, and knowledge about menstruation.
It is said that practices related to menstrual hygiene have health implications; if not attended to can result in reproductive tract infections (RTI) and other vaginal diseases.
Most girls in and out of school have limited knowledge and are mostly unprepared for menarche due to inadequate information about menstruation.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH