Rural Smile Foundation in partnership with Youth Alert Network all non-governmental organizations joined the rest of the World to commemorate Menstrual Hygiene Day at Nkwatia Presbyterian Senior High.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media fraternity to promote good menstrual hygiene management for all women and girls.
MH Day was initiated by the German non-profit WASH United in 2013. WASH United is the overall global coordinator of MH Day and acts as its international secretariat.MH Day has grown tremendously since it’s first celebration in 2014
Poor menstrual hygiene caused by lack of education on the issue, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermines the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world. As a result, millions of women and girls are kept from reaching their full potential.
The event saw in attendance both male and female teachers and students of the host school, which is known as Nkwatia Presbyterian Senior High. This year’s celebration was under the theme ‘’ My-Menses-My -Pride’’
Giving the key note address, Mrs.Faustina Agyapong, who’s a mental health nurse and also the Founder of Youth Alert Network took the students (boys and girls) through what menstruation is , the number of days to experience it, how to fix sanitary pad well so as not to stain themselves (Girls). She also made a clarion call to demystify the stigma surrounding menstruation since it’s not shameful and admonish the girls to keep themselves safe and clean during that period.
The headmistress of the host school, Nkwatia Presbyterian Senior High, Mrs. Cynthia Anim did expressed delight for her school hosting the event. And as a former girl child Coordinator herself, she reiterated the need for girls to be educated and supported during such periods so as to enable them attend to activities such as sports and classes’ .she bemoaned the issue of girls absenting themselves from class when in their menstrual periods and thus sees it as a great set back to girl education.
Mr. Nana Kofi of the PPAG also admonished the students on the need to abstain from sex until they are matured to get married.
The Executive Director for Rural Smile Foundation, Mr. Abubakar Saddique also advocated on the need for men to support girls, women in their menstrual period since it’s a natural phenomenon that occurs to them.
Itel Ghana as an organization in supporting the celebration donated assorted items to both teachers and students of the school.
On the part of student participants, there was overwhelming expression of willingness to support women and girls during their menstrual periods and thus it will eradicate the stigma associated with it.