Though menstrual hygiene management is not explicitly included in the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is critical to the UN’s Political Forum. This is because adolescence is a transition period from childhood to adulthood during which pubertal development and sexual maturation occur and menstrual hygiene among females is one of such.
Rapid transformations due to the hormonal changes that accelerate the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth usually occur during adolescence. Among the many changes that happen in adolescence, the occurrence of menstruation or menarche is the natural event that is a physiological and psychological milestone in the 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, and girls do not feel free to discuss menstruation in public, as it can even be taboo to discuss this in the family or society settings in some places globally.
Conversations about menstruation have been critical to the Margaret Afriyie Mother and Child Community Initiative, which does not only provide health care to mothers and their children but also, its founder — the multiple humanitarian awards-winning Midwife, and Farmer — Margaret Afriyie, serves as a role model to almost all the girls of Ahwerewam community in the Ahafo Ano South-East District of Ghana’s Ashanti Region.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day or MHD) as observed annually on May 28, aims to break menstrual taboos and raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management for women and adolescent girls worldwide.
“Conversations about menstruation 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,” said Margaret to TheAfricanDream.net and based on this, the boys of both schools were invited to sit in during the education and discussion. It was interesting to say that most of the questions came from the boys.
Margaret Afriyie and her Margaret Afriyie Mother and Child Community Initiative celebrated this year’s MH Day at Ahwerewam D/A basic school and Domeabra D/A basic school.
Through the #PadAGirl initiative, Margaret, the 2020 Best Midwife in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, educated pupils of the two basic schools in the district on menstrual hygiene management, the use of sanitary pads, and proper disposal of used sanitary pads. She also donated free sanitary pads to the excited girls.
Written by Oppong Clifford Benjamin