Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Day, commemorated worldwide to create awareness about the importance of education on menstrual hygiene was marked in Ghana yesterday at the Accra Technical Training Centre.
Be Amazing, a campaign aimed at educating girls, boys and other stakeholders about menstrual hygiene management as a means of promoting girls education was launched to mark the day. The event, organized by the Ghana Education Service (GES), in collaboration with UNICEF and the High Commission of Canada is under the global theme for this year’s celebration, “Education about Menstruation Changes Everything.”
The aim of the MHM Be Amazing campaign is to provide support to girls to enable them manage their menstrual periods by observing good menstrual hygiene practices. The campaign is also intended to strengthen evidence-based advocacy and action on menstrual hygiene management in Ghana through the UNICEF supported WASH in Schools project, leading to a more supportive school environment for girls. In connection with this, several communication materials developed under the Be Amazing Campaign were unveiled at the event. They include flip charts, tri-fold flyers, video messages as well as an MHM website.
Research done by GES and UNICEF revealed the significant consequences of limited knowledge about menstrual hygiene practices for girls and society in general. 50% of adolescent girls in Ghana did not know anything about menstruation before they had their first period with 95% of girls sometimes miss school due to menstruation.
The UNICEF Ghana’s Chief of WASH, David Duncan said “UNICEF is delighted to be supporting this initiative in Ghana. UNICEF remains committed to supporting programs that help to promote the welfare of children and women. UNICEF programs therefore seek to achieve high and immediate impact on children’s health, education and protection. Through Be Amazing, we trust that the rights of girls including their right to education will be protected and promoted”.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who launched the campaign materials said “Government is committed to building a strong country that harnesses the talents of all. Females form a large percentage of the country’s population and their education is critical to the development of the country. Be Amazing is designed to help address challenges that girls face as a result of a natural cycle that women go through. It is not acceptable for the education of girls to be adversely affected because of a natural cycle that we all benefit from”.
Dr. Prempeh emphasized the need for a coordinated effort from various stakeholders, to rally support for the programme. “Let us all Be Amazing by playing our part in breaking taboos and managing issues associated with menstruation so our girls can feel free to pursue their education so that we all can have An Amazing Ghana”, he added.
The event was also attended by the Director General of the Ghana Education Service, MHM Campaign ambassadors: Israel Laryea, Shamima Muslim, MzVee, Adwoa Yeboah Agyei, Wendy Laryea and Nana Ama McBrown. They, together with the dignitaries later engaged the pupils and answered questions about MHM. To symbolize their pledge to support the campaign on education on menstrual hygiene management, all participants at the event, particularly the decision makers symbolically imprinted their palms on a canvas as a sign of their commitment to the campaign.
MHM day celebration is also participated by various NGOs including Water Aid, Curious Minds, Right to Play, Global Communities, and World Vision.