Fanthiono Foundation, a non -profit humanitarian organization, with interest to end what it, referred to as period poverty, last weekend supported over hundred (100) female students of the Mangoase Senior High School (SHS) in the Akwapim North District of the Eastern Region, with a box each of sanitary pad and panty liners.
The donation was part of the Foundation’s #One Friend One Box Campaign which has so far been the fourth after the likes of Adidome Senior High School in the Volta Region, Tolon Senior High School in the Northern Region, Mangoase SHS in the Eastern Region, and Kwabenya Senior High School within the Ga East Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
The donation, which was made last Saturday, June 12, 2021, at the school within the Akwapim North District of the Eastern Region was in response to a report conducted in the school last year, 2020 indicating the risk female students in the school stands in contracting Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
The report, identified among other things, the use of toilet paper by female students in place of sanitary pads or towels due to deprivation, which condition, for some was due to their parents’ inability to purchase the product for them.
For some of the students, their location and proximity to the point of sale of the sanitary napkin account for why they choose to use toilet paper as sanitary pads.
Last Saturday’s donation preceded an Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) talk to sensitize the students on the urgent need to practice personal hygiene, particularly during menstruation.
Addressing the scores of students, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fanthiono Foundation, Ms. Felicia Antonio noted that her motivation for the establishment of the foundation stemmed from her personal experience whereas a young lady, access to the sanitary pad was really difficult but she is currently campaigning for societal causes, she sees it expedient to support female students.
In terms of funding, she noted that was solely from personal networks of friends and family relatives but was quick to concede that it was very difficult raising funds by that means.
She bemoaned the less attention given menstrual health of females as trivial pursuit and called for support to end period poverty.
Making a presentation on personal hygiene, a Team Lead at the foundation, Ms. Mercy Simpson-Jiagge urged the students to take their personal hygiene dearly.
“You must understand your lifestyle in terms of the activities at stake in a day during menstruation in order to change their pads regularly”, she stressed.
She further entreated the students to take their baths regularly in order to stay clean from odour.
Ms. Jiagge further urged the students to wrap their used sanitary pad and dispose of properly.
To monitor the progress and sustain the education on menstrual health, a Team member with the foundation, Ms. Melanie Akosua Osei sought the consent of the Headmaster to establish a menstrual health club in the school, which permission was granted.
On her part, the Girls Prefect of the School, Miss Elizabeth Otumfur expressed her heartfelt appreciation to the foundation for a good campaign and urged them to continue assisting the needy.
She promised to assist the sanitation prefect to ensure that used pads are not dumped at the wrong places.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr. Seth Tawiah Agbesi expressed his gratitude to the foundation for good done the school particularly, those from underprivileged homes.
He used the occasion to call on all to contribute to a collective cause in order to end period poverty in the country.
Story: Prosper Kwaku Selassy