Happy Monthlies, a group keen on Menstrual health and wellbeing lead by a final year medical student of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho undertook a project dubbed End Period Poverty, Saturday, 24th April 2021. It focuses on ending period poverty among girls in deprived areas.
The project was founded by Henrietta Enam Quarshie, a final-year medical student of UHAS.
According to Enam, this has been a passionate topic of hers for a long time. Asking what triggered her to put it into action now, she said, “the trigger was an incident that happened at an outreach totally unrelated to menstrual health. While talking to one of the girls, she broke down crying and when I asked why, she told me she couldn’t afford sanitary pads when on her periods and was afraid to ask her mum for money. This really touched me and I decided to start now, rather than later. So here we are.”
The first of many projects to come took place at Saviefe Gbedome. There were a total of 26 students, 17 of which were girls, in attendance.
Miss Dzidzor, a member of the group, took them through what menstruation is and what it really entails, as well as hygienic ways for girls to take care of themselves during their period.
Every girl was given a purse that contained six hygienically sewn reusable pads, pocket tissue and a portable pack of soap. These were given with tea bags for the girls who experienced pain during menstruation to use to soothe their pain. They were also taught how to wash them after use and urged to study hard and not let their period hold them back.
The boys were not left out as this also looks at making the topic of menstruation a normal thing as boys can help girls go through their menstruation. This they were told, could be done by prompting female classmates who stain their clothes and by not shunning or seeing girls as ‘dirty’ or different when they are on their periods.
To achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, the project is targeted at fulfilling the following Sustainable development Goals,
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
Goal 4: Quality education
Goal 5: Gender equality
Goal 6: Water and sanitation
Apart from the education, there was also a time for entertainment and refreshments.
A student interviewed after the programme expressed content about learning from this initiative.
“Before today, my knowledge about menstrual health was a 3/10 but now it is 9/10 since I’ve learned that there are other products I can use when menstruating like the tampons, sanitary pads and menstrual cups. I also learned that some girls end up using rags, pieces of old cloth and even leaves, which are not safe practices and can cause diseases.”, she said.
This project is sponsored by the Gender Based-Violence group and partnered by Ohemaa in prints, Grooming Girls Network GGN, NeedBe Foundation and Sustainable Development Goals SDG).