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COINWAS celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day (Creating a Period-Friendly World)

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is a critical social issue that is gaining global attention, aiming to make menstruation a comfortable and dignified experience for adolescent girls and women. Recognizing the importance of this issue, May 28th has been designated as Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated worldwide to foster discussions and improvements in menstrual health. This year’s global theme, “Together for a Period-Friendly World,” resonates strongly with Ghana’s national theme, “Imagine a Period-Friendly Ghana.”

CONIWAS and partners

To mark this significant day, the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) partnered with Hope for Africa to host an enlightening session at the Amasaman Cluster of Schools. This event brought together students, teachers, food vendors, community leaders, and local government officials to raise awareness and educate the community on menstrual hygiene management.

In her opening remarks, Madam Basilia Nanbigne expressed her gratitude to the attendees, particularly appreciating the participation of boys and men. She emphasized that menstruation is a natural biological process and highlighted CONIWAS’s efforts to dispel myths and promote acceptance. A significant achievement she mentioned was the successful advocacy for the removal of taxes on menstrual products in Ghana, making them more accessible and affordable.

Victor Noi Tawiah, the Municipal Director of Education, reiterated the significance of Menstrual Hygiene Day and the chosen date, correlating with the average menstrual cycle. He cited research showing that providing menstrual hygiene materials increases girls’ school attendance. Tawiah commended the collaboration between the education office and the Assembly, which has led to the construction of girl-friendly latrines in schools, ensuring no girl misses school due to menstruation.

Cynthia Bansa, the Municipal Planning Officer, echoed the Assembly’s commitment to menstrual hygiene evidenced by the construction of facilities with changing rooms. These efforts are part of a broader initiative to establish an office dedicated to MHM education, aiming to support girls in managing their menstruation with dignity.

 

Practical Guidance and Demonstrations

A highlight of the event was a comprehensive educational session led by a nurse from the district. She explained the biological process of menstruation and provided practical advice on managing menstrual hygiene. Demonstrations on using various menstrual products, including menstrual cups, single-use pads, and reusable pads, were particularly informative. The nurse also stressed the importance of a balanced diet and proper hygiene to prevent infections during menstruation.

 

Encouraging a Supportive Environment

Traditional leaders like Papase Manye Naa Banwa emphasized the importance of community support for menstruating girls. She encouraged boys to be supportive and parents to provide necessary supplies to their daughters, ensuring they can manage their periods without undue stress or embarrassment. Her closing remarks reinforced the need for continuous education and communal support to create a truly period-friendly environment.

 

Conclusion

The Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration at Amasaman Cluster of Schools was more than just an event; it was a powerful reminder of the collective effort needed to create a period-friendly world. By involving diverse community members and focusing on education, support, and practical solutions, the event successfully highlighted the importance of menstrual hygiene management. As Ghana continues to make strides in this area, the hope is to see every girl and woman managing their menstruation with confidence, dignity, and without interruption to their daily lives.

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