A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), operating in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, in the Upper East Region, Our Lady of Mercy Community Services (OLAM) , has reiterated the need for government to subsidize the cost of Sanitary Pads for girls in Junior(JHSs) and Senior High Schools(SHSs) in the country.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Mr Emmanuel Atiiga, stated that research has confirmed that absenteeism of girls and teenage pregnancies in SHSs and JHSs is largely attributed to the inability of the girls to afford the purchase of Sanitary Pads during their menstrual periods. The market price of Sanitary pads is ranging from 150 to 200 Ghana cedis per each.
The Executive Director made the call when his outfit donated 480 sanitary pads including detergents, cooking oil, rice, assorted drinks among others to over 200 female students of the Mirigu SHS in the Kassena Nankana Municipal of the Upper East Region on Thursday, as part of this year’s African Union Day (AU).
Mr Atiiga explained that the gesture formed part of OLAM’s outreach programme to educate female students on Sexual Health Reproductive issues, with resource persons from the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The Executive Director told the students that there were the future leaders of tomorrow and entreated each of the student to set up a vision and to work hard towards achieving such vision.
Mr Atiiga lamented the spate of teenage pregnancy among young school girls and said it was becoming alarming nationwide and the need for appropriate interventions to stop the canker.
He explained that it was against this background that his outfit has been supporting other second cycle schools in the municipality and its environs with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA -SENEGAL), VASTENACTIE and L’Oreal.
He entreated the paraments and teachers to leave up to their expectation by contributing to the development of the students to become better leaders tomorrow.
Mrs Anastacia A Musah , Assembly member of the Atosale Azaasi Electoral area and a member of the Kaana Manga Women Association, admonished female students to stay away from premarital sex and to concentrate on their studies
Mrs Florence Ernestina Bobi, a retired education director and the President of the Kaana Manga Women Association, advised female students against having sexual relationships with men.
Mrs Bobi who educated female students on problems associated with teenage pregnancy, urged the students to avoid friends who might influence them to engage in premarital sex.
She said even though the growth in their bodies came with a strong sexual urge, it was proper for them to control such desires and remain disciplined until they were mature enough to be married.
A public health Nurse from the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Health Directorate, Mrs Matilda Yelbaya, called on parents to build cordial relationship with their children, particularly the female ones, so that they can discuss sexual reproductive issues with them.
She also urged parents to provide the needs of their teenage female children to prevent them from falling prey to unscrupulous men, who will capitalize on the provision of their needs and lure them into sexual relationships.
The Senior House Master, Mr Mahama Braimah , who received the items on behalf of the School thanked the NGO for the support and said it would improve upon the academic standarsd of the school and urged others to follow suit.
The occasion which was themed “Mentoring and Distribution of Sanitary Pads “ paved the way for the Kana Manga Women Association , a subsidiary of ( OLAM) to give talks on career counseling , Personal Hygiene and Teenage Pregnancy.