Close to 50 percent of public basic schools in Ghana lack toilet and hygiene facilities for use by girls in their menstrual period, a government official said here Monday.

Speaking at this year’s International Menstrual Hygiene Day Celebration here, 38 km east of the national capital, Deputy Director for Environmental Health and Management of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Kwaku Quansah, said the situation was contributing to the increasing school drop-out rate among girls.

The problem, he emphasized, was quite huge and needed urgent attention to bridge the infrastructural gap to keep the girls in school.

The Ghana government, Quansah said, had over the past year provided 656 communities with water facilities, adding that the government would not renege on its efforts to provide more to other educational institutions across the country.

He urged the various stakeholders, including local government authorities, to prioritize water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues in their various areas to bridge the gap between those institutions with facilities and those without them.

The International Menstrual Hygiene Day was instituted by the United Nations Organization (UNO) with support from WASH United, a German Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2014.

The rationale for the celebration is to bring the challenges of menstrual hygiene management to the fore for the media, government, politicians, NGOs, and development partners to discuss and help address the challenges.

The 2018 Menstrual Hygiene Day Celebration is under the theme: “Empowering Women and Girls Through Menstrual Hygiene Management.” Enditem

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