The Our Lady of Mercy Community Services (OLAM), a Non-Governmental Organization has presented 1,000 packets of menstrual pads to the Our Lady of Lourdes Girls’ Senior High School (OLL SHS) in Navrongo in the Upper East Region.
The NGO in addition presented COVID-19 items including gallons of liquid soap, nose marks, oil, soft drinks, and other provisions to the school.
All the items valued at GH¢10,000 are expected to benefit the 1,000 female students of the school, to help address their Sexual Reproductive Health needs, and to prevent them from being infected by COVID-19.
The donation formed part of OLAM’s outreach Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme and the students were also sensitized on Sexual and Reproductive health issues.
Mrs Florence Ernestina Bobi, a Retired Educationist, advised the young girls against having sexual relationships with men, stating that such connections could be harmful to their personal development and urged them to prioritize their education.
Mrs Bobi noted that when young girls gave in to the sexual demands of men, they lose focus in life and that in most cases made it difficult for them to develop and realize their full potential of becoming useful people in the society
She explained that 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 old enough to marry.
“When you agree to have sexual relationships with men and young boys and you get pregnant, you will drop out of school and that can affect who you become in the future. The man or boy who will impregnate you will still be in school but you the girl will drop out and be home. So, I will advise you all to stay away from men and boys who come to you for sexual relationships.” She admonished the students.
Mrs Matilda Yelbaya, a Public Health Nurse from the Kassena-Nankana Municipal Health Directorate called on parents to build friendly relationships with their children, particularly the girls, such that they could easily converse and confide in them.
She also urged parents to make the needs of their teenage daughters paramount to prevent them from falling into the hands of unscrupulous men who would capitalize on that to lure them into sexual relationships.
“Secondly, they should provide them with their needs. You see that some of the girls lack basic needs like sanitary pads, underwear and other things which push them to go seek for help somewhere and that one jeopardizes their lives”.
Mr Emmanuel Atiiga, the Executive Director of OLAM, explained that the mission of the programme, which has similarly been held in other second-cycle schools in the area, was to mentor the female students and to educate them on the need to avoid sex, to reduce teenage pregnancies.
He noted that the issue of pregnancies among young school girls was becoming alarming nationwide and there was the need for interventions such as what was being undertaken by the OLAM.