global Menstrual Hygiene
global Menstrual Hygiene

The Touching Lives of Girls (TLG) Foundation has outlined the importance of parents and school counsellors in counselling adolescent girls on hygiene during menstruation ahead of global Menstrual Hygiene (MH) Day commemoration on Monday.

The MH Day is a global platform that brings together non-profit organisations, government agencies, private sector operators, media and individuals to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management.


Nana Ama Adutwumwah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TLG Foundation, in an interview with Ghana News Agency on Sunday said the Day would provide the platform for campaigners to raise global public awareness about the challenges women and girls worldwide faced during their menstrual cycles.

They would also highlight solutions to those challenges and proffer solutions to remove barriers, particularly against school going girls who were confronted with social and cultural stigma when going through their natural period of menstrual flow, she added.

The day is celebrated to galvanise mass support at the global, regional, national and local levels to create opportunities for advocacy in a move to integrate state policies, programmes and projects in national agenda.

Nana Adutwumwah said by celebrating the day in Ghana, TLG Foundation would create an opportunity in which “every woman and girl can manage her menstruation in a hygienic way wherever she is, in privacy, safety and with dignity.”

“We also believe that the celebration of MH Day will help break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential,” she added.

Nana Adutwumwah said Ghanaian girls in junior and senior high schools faced challenges such as inability to buy sanitary pads, loss of school contact hours during their menstrual days and inadequate waste disposal facilities.

The girls are also confronted with problems like lack of privacy for changing their menstrual materials in schools; leakage from poor-quality protection materials; lack of resources for washing and limited counselling or education on keeping clean during menstruation.

She added that most Ghanaian girls had limited access to counselling and guidance, entangled in fear caused by cultural myths and felt embarrassed as well as developed low self-esteem due to lack of support.

“However it is very unfortunate that most of the young girls are ignorant about menstruation before menarche,” Nana Adutwumwah said.

Many of the challenges listed above were being attributed to poor literacy level among mothers or absence of proper health education programmes in schools that focus on menstrual hygiene.

“We believe by acquiring knowledge on menstrual hygiene management, the overall health status of girls will be enhanced as myths and misconceptions that surround puberty and menstruation will also be demystified,” she said.

German-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), WASH United, initiated MH Day in 2014 and acts as the International Secretariat which coordinates MH Day as well as manages an Alliance of more than 410 partner organisations of which TLG Foundation in Ghana being key partner.

The Foundation in recent months collaborated with Queen Mothers in Kpando in the Volta Region and Mamponteng in Ashanti Region who rallied their support to step up menstrual hygiene campaign among young girls in their respective traditional areas.

May 28th has symbolic meaning, according to menstrual hygiene campaigners, since May is the 5th month of the year and women menstruate an average of five (5) days every month while menstrual cycle averages 28 days.


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