AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine join partners to educate school children on menstrual hygiene.
The day's highlight was the need for continuous education on menstrual hygiene beyond the day set aside for World Menstrual day.
According to Mavis Nana Yaa Kyei, the Social Development and Gender Superintendent of AngloGold Ashanti, key to joining the commemoration of WMHD is to break the silence, raise awareness and change negative social norms surrounding menstrual hygiene. This she noted is relevant to ensuring that women and girls feel empowered to manage their periods safely, hygienically, with confidence and without embarrassment.
"We should live in a society where no woman or girl is limited by something as natural and normal as menstruating. A sustained education targeting girls, boys and the parents on Menstrual Hygiene will help demystify myths and Stigmas associated and further reduce absenteeism and put more girls back in school," she stated.
Mrs. Kyei was speaking at an educational program held for all Basic Schools in Obuasi to mark this year's edition of World Menstrual Hygiene Day. This year’s edition is under theme "Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030".
AngloGold Ashanti as part of activities to mark the day joined the Ghana Education Service, the Obuasi Health Directorate, and AGA Health Foundation to educate and demonstrate to young girls in Obuasi the need to observe good menstrual hygiene and to keep going with their flow.
The Social Development and Gender Superintendent of AGA also mentioned that breaking stigmas and building confidence in young girls play a fundamental role in enabling them to reach their full potential in academics. She said the day resonates with the quest of AngloGold Ashanti to ensure inclusive development whiles building resilient communities in which women and girls play an integral part.
She said AngloGold Ashanti as part of its Educational Improvement Programme under the 10-year Socio Economic Development Plan (SEDP) soon to be launched will advance efforts in augmenting the existing support in improving quality delivery and access to education in Obuasi.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD PROVIDE SANITARY PADS FOR SCHOOL GIRLS
The Obuasi Municipal Girl Child Coordinator Cecilia Mensah said to bridge the gap between boys and girls in school, it was expedient for Government to provide girls with sanitary pads as part of Capitation which will help the school-based facilitators to educate them well on menstruation and reduce the recorded absenteeism.
On strides made by the Educational Directorate in girl child education, she said the Directorate has instituted a program where school-based girl child facilitators embark on programs that speak to the needs of the girl on menstrual hygiene and menstrual poverty.
"This has yielded positive results and we will leave no stone unturned".
Madam Mensah also advocated for sustained advocacy on menstrual health in schools through the adolescent class which also includes boys. "With this, issues of bullying on the part of boys towards girls who menstruate will be a thing of the past," she added.
The Obuasi East Director of Health, Mrs. Delphine Gborblowor on the other hand encouraged the teachers present to facilitate The Girls‘Iron Folate Tablet Supplementation Programme (GIFTS) designed to provide adolescent girls with weekly iron and folic acid tablets to prevent them from being Anemic.
A student of the Anyinam Methodist Junior High School Saka Musah lauded AngloGold Ashanti for the education on menstrual hygiene and providing them with sanitary pads. She said most girls of her age find it difficult to access sanitary pads hence called on Government to assist and keep them in school.
In all AngloGold Ashanti in partnership with GIZ distributed thousands of sanitary towels to some girls in both the Obuasi Municipal and Obuasi East District.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD, MH Day in short) is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) at a global level. It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014.