PRESS STATEMENT 27/5/2016
GLOBAL MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY – 2016
In 2014, a German – based NGO, WASH United saw the need to spearhead in a worldwide campaign to draw attention to why it is necessary to give focus to menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls and women in general.
Since then, every 28th May, is considered a day set aside to remember what menstrual hygiene is all about and what leaders can do to integrate this into national development ideas for the girl child to be at ease in school especially during her menstrual period.
May 28 was chosen for its symbolism since May is the 5th month of the year and most women average 5 days every month and their cycle is approximately 28 days.
This year, key messages have been developed to help in a successful celebration. Some of them are; “every day can be a good day if girls can attend school during their period”, “menstruation matters to everyone everywhere”, “menstruation matters”, among others.
The initiative for Menstrual Hygiene Day has received the support of over 270 global partners who are committed to making good menstrual health and hygiene a priority worldwide.
While there is no specific indicator in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), it matters to Goals 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 12.
In Ghana, governments over the years have pledged and made efforts to support adolescents and women in their sexual and reproductive cycles.
In rural Ghana, the issue of menstrual hygiene is one of a big deal because of lack of access to menstrual hygiene materials by young girls.
School Health Education Programmes (SHEP) have been educating young girls in basic schools on how to manage their menstruation but the support of mothers in homes is not forthcoming even though the education should have started at home with mothers especially.
WUZDA, together with the Sagnarigu District SHEP therefore calls on parents especially mothers, to take time to observe the girl child and give her prior education on menstrual management to aid her deal with the problems that may occur in menstruation during school hours.
For the authorities and key stakeholders, we would like to remind them of the lack of adequate facilities such as urinal and latrines in schools, where both the male and female children have to resort to using a common facility for those purposes. THE GIRL CHILD NEEDS SOME PRIVACY TO CHANGE WHEN SHE GETS SOILED IN SCHOOL!!!
We advocate that if more facilities are provided to schools, the issues of menstruation affecting the girl child’s education with absenteeism during her period, would be cut down.
We also call on especially district assemblies to inculcate the issues of menstrual hygiene deeply into their development planning to cater for the provision of menstrual materials to aid the girl child be able to change during school hours when menstruating.
Until all these and more are done, menstrual hygiene management among adolescents especially of school going age, will be difficult to achieve.
In the rural areas, we charge mothers to ensure the cotton cloth which some girls use during their menstruation is well cleaned and well dried in the sun to prevent it from infections which may be passed on to the girl during reuse. The use of plain cotton material will also be advised.
Finally, we call on the media to make menstrual hygiene a priority in their programme creations to create awareness and educate the girl child and mothers on the need for effective menstrual hygiene management and to help demystify the issues of taboo surrounding the talk about menstrual hygiene.
Ahead of the Global Menstrual Hygiene Day commemoration 2016, WUZDA and its partners would like to wish all adolescent girls and women in general a wonderful menstrual hygiene day.
May God help you in your struggle!
May God bless Women in general!!!
Shaibu Awudu (Media & Communications Officer)
0243 66 99 76/ 0507 19 99 23
Ibrahim Abdul Ganiyu (Training Coordinator – WASH)
0501 38 91 14
Ziblim Abdul Karim (Programme Manager)