Eventhough menstrual hygiene management is not explicitly included in the SDGs, it is critical to the United Nations Political Forum.
Adolescence is a transition period from childhood to adulthood life. During this period, pubertal development and sexual maturation occurs. Usually, rapid transformations due to the hormonal changes that accelerate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth occur during adolescence.
The occurrence of menstruation
The occurrence of menstruation is one the many changes that happen in adolescence. This very first menstrual period, the menarche is a natural event. It is an extremely important event that marks a physiological and psychological milestone in a woman’s reproductive life.
Even though the occurrence of menstruation is a sign of normal female reproductive functions, it is bounded by several misbeliefs or misconceptions. Unfortunately girls do not feel free to discuss menstruation in public. As such, it is seen as a great taboo to discuss in the family or society settings.
Conversations about menstruation have been critical to the Margaret Afriyie Mother and Child Community Initiative. This initiative does not only provide health care to mothers and their children but, its founder, the multiple humanitarian awards-winning Midwife and Farmer, Margaret Afriyie, also serves as a role model to almost all the girls of Ahwerewam community. This community is situated in the Ahafo Ano South-East District of Ghana in the Ashanti Region.
Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day or MHD) is observed annually on May 28. It aims to break menstrual taboos and raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management for women and adolescent girls worldwide. As such, Margaret Afriyie and her Margaret Afriyie Mother and Child Community Initiative celebrated this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day at Ahwerewam D/A basic school and Domeabra D/A basic school.
Through the #PadAGirl initiative, Margaret, the 2019 Best Midwife in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, educated pupils from the two local schools in the district on menstrual hygiene management. They also discussed the use of sanitary pads and their proper disposal of used sanitary pads as well as donated free sanitary pads to the excited girls.
Conversations about Menstrual Hygiene are not for females only. If ever we are going to succeed in breaking the stereotypes around menstruation, then we ought to include the males. Thus, the boys of both schools were made to sit in the education and discussion session. It was interesting to see that most of the questions came from the boys.
By Oppong Clifford Benjamin