It has emerged that female teachers in the Upper East Region and some parts of the Northern Region share their sanitary pads with their female pupils whenever they are in their menstrual periods.
Those who are unlucky to get some from their teachers, seek permission to absent themselves from school for the number of days that they have their menstruation.
These, TV3 gathered, is because about 70 per cent of rural parents are unable to afford at least GHC5 to purchase sanitary pads for their girl children in Upper East and the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region.
School girls in the area mostly absent themselves from school any time they have had to go through menstruation, thus affecting their academic performances.
According to some of the girls who spoke to TV3, their parents cannot buy them sanitary pads for which reason they often wear between three to four pants to serve as pads.
Others also resort to the use of rags as sanitary pad which they wash and reuse.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Manager of Catholic Relief Services, Dr. Philip Darko, underscored the need to educate boys on menstrual hygiene, saying “[in] educating girls on menstrual hygiene, boys must equally be educated to reduce the stigma around this all-important period in a girl’s life”.
Dr Darko noted lack of WASH-friendly schools discourage girls from hygienically managing menstruation, resulting in their monthly absenteeism from school during such periods.
He said it is important for stakeholders to find ways of ensuring that hygienic sanitary pads were produced by local artisans to make it available.
The West Mamprusi School Health Programme Coordinator, Hajia Zakari Sirina suggested to government and policymakers to include the provision of sanitary pads into the capitation grant.
That, she said, would ensure that changing rooms for girls and other sanitary facilities were provided in all schools.
Upper East Regional Director of Children’s Department, Greogina Abrese told TV3 her outfit is putting measures in place to ensure that every girl get access to sanitary pad.
To this end, she said they have been collaborating with some NGOs to supply sanitary pads to schools. She therefore urged parents especially mothers, to invest in that area.
By Tanko Mohammed Rabiu|TV3|3news.com|Ghana