The Ghana Education Service, Asutifi North Directorate, Nananom of the Ntotroso and Wamahinso Traditional Council in partnership with Makers Network Foundation commemorated the Global Menstrual Hygiene Day on Thursday and Friday, 26th and 27thof May 2022 at Ntotroso and Wamahinso respectively. This forms part of the annual awareness held on May 28 to raise global awareness about the significance of appropriate menstrual hygiene management which was started in 2013 by the German NGO WASH United and first observed in 2014.
The day attracted dignitaries all across the District and beyond. Some of these include the Ghana Education Service Director, Assistant Director, Asutifi North District Assembly, Nananom (Traditional Authorities), Executive Director, Makers Network Foundation, Reps from IRC Ghana, District Police Commander, Reg. GNATLAS (Sunyani), Chief Marketing Officer, Premier Health Insurance, Newmont Ghana Gold Limited.
The commemoration targeted Junior High Schools girls within these townships. It sought to change negative social perceptions and norms by educating these girls on ways to be hygienic and the public, especially parents on their role in the lives of their wards during menstrual periods. It also encouraged girls who haven’t yet had their first menstrual experience to inform their guardians as to when they do for guidance.
District School Health Education Program (SHEP) Coordinator, Felicia Ohenewaa Larbi explained that “per records at GES, some girls do not at all receive guidance during their menstruation period and this leaves them with no option but to fall upon peer influence, engage in wrong social vices and eventually drop off school.”
“For that reason, this day is to recognise and acknowledge menstruation as a natural phenomenon, raise awareness and educate girls on how to go about their lives upon experiencing their first menses as well as how to manage themselves afterward”, she added.
Guidance and Counselling Coordinator, Elizabeth Azuma Atinga expressed appreciation to the Traditional Authorities (Nananom), ANAM WASH partners, Makers Network Foundation and all other stakeholders for organising the events which complement the efforts her outfit is already making.
“It is under the obligation of my directorate to initiate and implement such programs to enhance the lives of school children. But we are however handicapped when it comes to resources to undertake such at times”, she added.
On the occasion, the traditional authorities asked all parents and guardians not to entrust all obligations to teachers, but to maintain constant contact with their children throughout their menstrual cycle. They also urged everyone to take as much ownership of the WASH systems provided by ANAM WASH partners in communities, schools, and health facilities as possible in order to maintain sustainability for current and future generations.
Nananom, Head of MakersFoundation, and all stakeholders present donated items such as sanitary pads to school girls and all females present at the occasions.
Students from nine(9) schools participated of which five were present at Ntotroso and four at Wamahinso, including Gyamfi Kumanini Senior High Technical School. 230 school girls participated and benefited from the events.