Mrs. Harriet Osei-Amoah Owusu, a philanthropist has entreated parents to provide sanitary pads every month as an additional responsibility for their girl-children to relieve them of the need for that menstrual product.
She observed a lot of girls stayed at home during their menstruation period and therefore lost about 23 school days in an academic year which affect their educational performances due to that condition resulting from lack of sanitary pads.
Mrs Owusu made the call at the Sacred Heart Senior High School (SHS) at Nsoatre in the Sunyani West Municipality of Bono Region when she donated more than 900 pieces of pads at a cost of GhC28,000.00 to mark the international menstrual health day celebration which fell on Sunday, May 28 this year.
The other two beneficiary institutions were the Chiraa SHS, also in the Sunyani West Municipality and the Akyerensua SHS in the Asutifi South District of Ahafo Region.
Mrs Owusu said her family with the support of friends took the initiative to help promote girl-child education, saying that menstruation was natural development with no human control, hence no girl-child must be deprived of education because of that natural phenomenon.
She observed because some parents could not provide their girl-children with menstrual products, girls of such parents ended up on the beds of men just to get money to buy pads.
Mrs Owusu gave the assurance the donation would not be one off gesture but would be an annual affair to bring hope to some needy female students.
She noted some parents provided water, food, and clothing to their children without giving them sanitary pads, even at the adolescent age.
Mrs Owusu therefore stressed the need for parents to include menstrual products as part of the essential needs of their children particularly for those in the boarding schools.
She stated menstrual stigma must be stopped, saying the society must also accept and understand that “menstruation is a usual thing,” so girl-children should be sensitised against shyness and confidently always stay in school.
Mrs Owusu suggested the need for wealthy citizens and other stakeholders to financially support communities to construct water-closet toilet facilities with constant flow of water in the schools for the girl-children to feel at ease to change themselves regularly.
Having water to flush the blood out and wash their hands properly after changing pads would be a comfortable experience and provision of psychological satisfaction and self-actualization for girl-children during menstrual period in school, Mrs. Owusu added.
She reminded girl-child education coordinators in the Municipal and District Education Directorates and other stakeholders to coordinate with school authorities to intensify menstrual education in the schools for the girl-children to be conscious and readily accept menstruation without shock.