Home Health GNAD Advocates for Inclusion in Menstrual Hygiene Programs

GNAD Advocates for Inclusion in Menstrual Hygiene Programs


The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) has urged all stakeholders to prioritize the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly the deaf, in Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) information dissemination.

Mr. Juventus Dourinaah, Executive Director of GNAD, noted that despite efforts to create a period-friendly environment for women and adolescents, research had consistently shown that women and children continued to face significant challenges in managing their menstrual cycles.

“While adolescent girls with disabilities have the same MHM needs as their counterparts without disabilities, adolescent girls with disabilities face twice the challenges girls without disabilities face,” he said.

Mr. Dourinaah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in a message to mark the World Menstrual Day celebration on the theme: “Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld”

The 2024 theme, according to Mr. Dourinaah, highlighted the global efforts to address poor Menstrual Hygiene Management challenges that hinder access to a period-friendly environment for women and girls.

He said good MHM was crucial for women’s overall well-being and that for adolescent girls, including those who are deaf, “it is essential for improving school attendance and learning outcomes.”

However, he said the exclusion of deaf women and girls from MHM programmes, combined with the lack of enabling policies and institutional and social barriers, continued to limit their access to quality services.

He said the situation was further exacerbated by stigma, discrimination, misconceptions about disability, inaccessible built environments, and the lack of disability inclusion services.

“These often make menstrual challenges more complicated for school girls with disabilities,” he added.

He indicated that global efforts to achieve a period-friendly world could not be achieved until the MHM needs of girls and women with disabilities were considered through targeted policies and services inclusion.

He emphasised the need to ensure a minimum standard accessibility of information for persons who are deaf.

Mr. Dourinaah called on the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana Health Service, Food and Drugs Authority and the National Council on Persons with Disabilities to include subtitles or Ghanaian Sign Language to all Sexual Reproductive Health information.

“This requirement is a creature of statute, and explicitly provided for under Section 5(g) of the National Communication Authority Act 2008, (Act 769),” he said.

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