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The Women’s wing of the University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) has urged the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to institute a policy where each adolescent girl in school is given free menstrual pad every month.
The Women’s Wing of USAG, in a statement signed by Women’s Commissioner Ellen Adjeiwaa Adams, said such a policy will help in ensuring good menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls.
Using the statement to marking World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the group said the two miniseries must introduce a “free sanitary materials to students’ policy”, which “will go a long way to help our female students who don’t have access to them.”
Below is the full statement:
SUNDAY, 28TH MAY 2017
TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ASSOCIATION OF GHANA; OFFICE OF THE WOMEN’S COMMISSION
WORLD MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY; ONE ADOLESCENT FEMALE STUDENT, ONE SANITARY PAD PER MONTH: USAG WOMEN’S COMMISSION CALLS ON GOVERNMENT; MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT A PRIORITY FOR ALL FEMALE ADOLESCENTS
The Women’s Commission of the University Students association of Ghana is wishing all women, especially our university women, a happy menstrual hygiene day. This is a very important day for women across the world as we raise awareness on how to maintain good menstrual health and hygiene. The importance of menstrual health management for women and adolescents across the world can’t be disputed. It is a day that brings together individuals, organisations, social businesses and the media to create a united and strong voice for women and girls around the world, helping to break the silence about menstrual hygiene management. Inasmuch as we thrive to improve menstrual hygiene management among our women, there are various challenges that we must tackle head on.
One major challenge is access to materials. Choices of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by cost, availability and societal norms. Our ladies on campus often miss lectures because they don’t have access to sanitary materials and this is worrisome. Some of our ladies resort to inferior materials and many at times inappropriate materials because of cost. This can affect one’s health and make her prone to infections. We, therefore, admonish our ladies to be careful on the materials they use during their menstrual period.
Another challenge is the availability of sanitation facilities in schools. Most of hostels and lecture halls lack good sanitation and hygiene facilities. Some of our ladies have to miss lectures due to insufficient access to water, unavailability of menstrual hygiene products and other sanitation and hygiene facilities. This is shameful in this day and age as a country.
Health and Psycho-social behavior is influenced by menstrual health management. Poor menstrual health affects the reproductive tract and may lead to reproductive tract infections and this can lead to various disabilities. Reproductive tract infections are the cause of 30-50% pre-natal infections and this is dangerous to one’s health.
As we acknowledge the challenges that confront us as women, it is important that having known the effects of poor menstrual health management, we take good care of ourselves to give us the feminine dignity. We admonish our women to use clean materials to absorb or collect menstrual blood. Use soap and water for washing the body and also properly dispose of used menstrual management materials.
On Friday, the 26th of May 2017, the women’s commissioner organised an outreach programme for young female adolescents in the Techiman municipality. In all five basic schools were brought together and educated on the need for a good menstrual health management and presented various sanitary materials to them. On Saturday the 27th of May, the University Students Association of Ghana as a whole organised a similar program at the Kumasi Girls’ senior high school and gave them education on menstrual health management. In our own small way we are promoting the menstrual health management crusade and we call on all and sundry to help us in this important call. It is in the light of this that we call on policy makers; thus Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to introduce free sanitary materials to students’ policy. This will go a long way to help our female students who don’t have access to them.
Once again we wish all women and girls in the country a happy world menstrual hygiene day. Thank you
Ellen Adjeiwaa Adams
Women’s Commissioner, University Students Association of Ghana