The Bra Dea Foundation has initiated a programmed dubbed “Her First Period” to educate girls on menstruation and personal hygiene and also clear the misconception and myths that surrounds menstruation.
Menstruation continues to be a challenge for most girls in the Bono Region affecting their school attendance. Stakeholders in education and health have been urged to do more to keep these girls in school.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that 1 in 10 girls in Africa miss school because of their periods each year.
These girls are often forced to stay home from school during their menstrual periods, which leads them to miss between 10 to 20% of school days. Sometimes, they drop out of school completely.
Some of these girls also lack the basic information on menstruation. An NGO, Bra Dea Foundation through its initiative is educating girls in basic schools in the Bono Region on menstruation on how to keep and improve their personal hygiene during that time of the month.
The Founder of Bra Dea Foundation, Michael Kwesi Edwards in an interview said, “Last two years we started a programme to distribute mathematical sets to pupils in the Bono Region. During our distribution we realized that most of the girls were absent from school so when we inquired, we were told when they are menstruating, they do not come to school because of the myth surrounding it, some of the girls are unable to get sanitary pads. Some we decided to collaborate with the Sunyani Municipal Hospital to educate these girls and also distribute sanitary pads.”
Mr. Edwards added that, “With the little we are doing it would help keep these girls in school so that they would not miss contact hours which may affect their education.”
The School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinator at the Nyamaa JHS in Sunyani, Mavis Agborsornu noted that she has to provide counselling services for girls with menstrual challenges in other to remain in school.
“We provide sanitary pads for these girls and also counsel them so that they would not skip school because they are menstruating.”
Evelyn Opoku-Agyeman, Health Promotion Officer at the Sunyani Municipal Hospital educated encouraged the girls to keep their personal hygiene when they are menstruating so that they would not disgrace themselves in public.
She noted that they can still come to school whiles menstruating and urged them to seek help from their SHEP coordinators if they have challenges with their menstruation.
Elis Dzifa Fianoo of the Sunyani High Street Junior High School praised the NGO for the education and believes it would go a long way to her and mates.