The Rotary Club of Obasi, Ghana, in collaboration with Girls Shall Grow, has given out free sanitary pads and educated about 600 girls in the country on menstrual hygiene and teenage pregnancy.
The girls were selected from three communities within the Obuasi Municipality, Obuasi East and Akrofuom districts.
Data from International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) suggests that the majority of girls in Ghana do not have accurate information on menstruation before their first period.
Also, one out of five girls between the ages 15 and 19 feel excluded from school, social and home activities during their period.
The issue of menstrual hygiene is inadequately acknowledged and efforts to address the gaps have been unsatisfactory.
When it comes to access to sanitary pads, it is subject to a 20 percent import tax in Ghana which drives the cost up and limits access.
The president-elect for Obuasi Rotary, Godfrey Mwachande, reiterated that the club would continue to offer support to girls during menstruation in a bid to ensure that communities beyond Obuasi were covered.
He said, ‘Since menstruation is a natural process, we are aware of the challenges hence are always ready to help’.
Executive Director of the NGO, Louisa Amoah, lauded Rotarians in Ghana for the gesture and also for constructing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools to support their course.
Development Diaries learnt from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that civil society organisations and activists in Ghana have on many occasions been calling on the government to consider abolishing taxes on sanitary pads and products in order to maintain personal hygiene during menstruation.
There has also been a call for the free provision of sanitary pads to girls in school so that it does not hinder them from staying in school or affecting their productivity and comfort.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana, due to a lack of education and adequate understanding of the topic of menstruation in Ghana, numerous girls have been victims of stigma, psychological abuse and trauma.
Source: Ghanaian Times
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