GNAT Distributes 3,000 Sanitary Pads to Female Pupils in Tongu District

GNAT Distributes 3,000 Sanitary Pads to Female Pupils in Tongu District
GNAT Distributes 3,000 Sanitary Pads to Female Pupils in Tongu District

Africa-Press – Ghana. Female pupils selected from 70 Basic Schools in the 3 Tongu Districts of the Volta Region have received over 3,000 sanitary pads as part of moves by Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to encourage teenage girls not to shy away from school during their menstruation.

The decision to embark on the distribution of such sanitary pads is not only part of the Association’s Corporate Social Responsibility to give back to society, but to show teachers’ commitment, loving and caring for teenage girls that they teach.

The National Gender Coordinator of GNAT, Lilly Otoo who led a team of Officers from both national and the regions in the distribution exercise, noted that giving out sanitary pads ultimately leads to a significant reduction in sexually transmitted infection and as teachers, particularly women in the profession, it behooves on them to encourage the girls to understand what it means when one is menstruating.

Madam Otoo stressed that menstruation is a blessing than a taboo as others would make them to believe. He advised the girls to be grateful to God that they are menstruating.

She said menstrual health and hygiene are essential to the wellbeing of the body of women and adolescent girls.

The National Gender Coordinator disclosed that an estimated figure of 500 million women and girls lack access to menstrual products including pads and adequate facilities for menstrual management and therefore called on authorities of various schools to ensure that facilities are in place to help girls comfortably have access to them during menstruation.

The Volta Regional GNAT Secretary, Alhaji Baba Kasim Seidu stressed that the Teachers’ Association cannot be left out in the sensitization of girls on the significance of menstrual care, hence the education and distribution of sanitary pads by GNAT.

He said access to menstrual products, safe, hygienic space in which to use them and the right time to manage menstruation without shame, are essential for the teenage girls. It is therefore the responsibility of both teachers and parents to ensure that the girls are adequately supported to overcome challenges associated with menstruation.

Alhaji Kasim Seidu disclosed that about 60 percent of girls who are menstruating do not avail themselves in school for teaching and learning unless after menstruation, which according to him would have meant that no job for teachers “and if you don’t work, you cannot be paid” lamented Alhaji Seidu.

This is one of the reasons that compelled GNAT to embark on the pad distribution exercise in schools.

The Regional GNAT Secretary encouraged stakeholders in education to support them to increase to package for the distribution to reach every school in every region.

Alhaji Seidu said practicing good hygiene and personal care during menstruation is vital for teenage girls, particularly when in school. There is therefore an urgent need for philanthropists and public-spirited organizations to help them address the numerous challenges associated with menstruation.

The South-Tongu District GNAT Secretary, Vasty Nunana urged beneficiary girls to at all times manage their menstruation in a hygienic manner to stay healthy without contracting diseases.

She urged boys to be supportive to the girls by alerting them when they spot blood stains around them rather than mocking.

She emphasized that menstruation is a natural occurrence which is a blessing rather than a curse.

The girls who benefitted from the free sanitary pads were from 50 schools in Sogakope, Adidome, Mafi-Kumase, Dabala, Aveyime, Battor and Mepe among other communities in the 3 Tongu Districts.

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