Girls Shall Grow, an Obuasi based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has appealed to government to consider supporting local firms to venture into the production of sanitary pads.
Mrs Louisa Amoah, the Executive Director of the organisation made the call when they partnered the Education and Health Directorates in Obuasi to sensitise schoolgirls in the Municipality on menstrual hygiene, to observe this year’s edition of World Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Over 350 girls drawn from 26 schools who participated in the event received free sanitary pads to commemorate the day.
“Considering the high cost of sanitary pads, it becomes difficult for children from poor homes to access them. As a result, they sometimes resort to the use of alternatives such as rags, paper, and other materials,” Mrs Amoah pointed out.
She said government could partner the private sector to go into sanitary pad production as was being done under the One District One Factory initiative as a strategy to bring down the price.
This, she noted, would promote menstrual hygiene and also contribute to reduction in absenteeism among adolescent girls during menstruation.
She called for “an all hands on deck” approach to deal with the stigma and misconceptions associated with menstruation, stressing the need for all stakeholders to join the discussions on menstrual hygiene among the girl child.
Mr George Alfred Koomson, the Obuasi Municipal Director of Education bemoaned the lack of toilet facilities in some basic schools in the Municipality.
Describing the situation as worrying, Mr. Koomson said the absence of toilet facilities prevented most girls from going to school during menstruation.
He called on parents and other bodies to support the Local Assembly to build toilet facilities in all basic schools in the Municipality to address the challenge.
He disclosed that the Education Directorate had intensified education in schools for both boys and girls to understand menstruation and also tackle the misconceptions surrounding it.
Madam Margaret Yaa Manu, the Municipal Health Director took the girls through how to maintain proper menstrual hygiene.
She said menstruation was a natural process that women and girls go through every month and called for a stop to the stigmatisation girls were subjected to, especially in the school environment.