AGAG-Obuasi Mine Donates 12,500 Sanitary Pads To Promote Safe Menstruation In Schools

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AngloGold Ashanti has joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 2024 edition of Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed annually on May 28th, is a global initiative aimed at breaking the silence and raising awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.

The mining giant celebrated the day by distributing a total of 12,500 sanitary pads to 58 school girls in Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East, Amansie Central and the Adansi North District. It also held a durbar to educate the girls on menstrual hygiene.

At the durbar, Mavis Nana Yaa Kyei, the Social Development and Gender Superintendent of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, emphasized the importance of menstrual hygiene.

She highlighted that menstruation, though a natural process experienced by half the world’s population, is still met with shame and inadequate access to hygiene products, particularly in developing countries.

She underscored the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) stance that menstrual health is a fundamental human right. She stated that inadequate menstrual hygiene resources worsen social and economic inequalities.

This year’s theme, “Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld,” aims to ensure access to menstrual products, education, and infrastructure, normalizing menstruation and reducing stigma.

AngloGold Ashanti has committed to promoting menstrual hygiene awareness and providing resources. Initiatives include public education on radio and training sessions for Girl Child Coordinators in Obuasi. During the durbar, health talks were held for junior high school students to educate girls on menstrual hygiene and boys on supporting their female classmates.

The event also saw the launch of new educational materials on menstrual health. Mrs.Kyei acknowledged the support of partners such as GIZ, the Ghana Health Service, local authorities, and the Ghana Education Service.

The Social Development and Gender Superintendent of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine,called for continued efforts to ensure menstruation does not hinder education, health, or dignity.

She urged all stakeholders to work together to break the silence, end the stigma, and secure resources for safe and hygienic menstrual management for everyone.

Ms. Hannah Amponsah, the Ashanti Regional Girls Education Officer announced that menstrual education will begin in senior high schools and stressed the importance of hygiene practices.

She highlighted the challenges girls face, such as lack of sanitary pads, which led to the creation of the Regional Pad Bank for public donations. These donations are distributed by District Girls Officers to those in need. Amponsah emphasized that World Menstrual Hygiene Day includes both pad distribution and education on menstrual hygiene, urging men to support their partners during menstruation.

Mr. Kwabena Owusu Nketia, the District Education Director for Obuasi, revealed that while menstruation was historically stigmatized, education has shown its vital role in life. He urged everyone to adopt positive attitudes and practice what they learned during the program.Mr. Kwabena Nketia thanked all attendees and AngloGold Ashanti for organizing the event to educate the youth.

Dr. Benedict Kuffour Senior Medical Officer at AGA Health Foundation emphasized the importance of knowing one’s cycle length, understanding that menstruation duration varies, recognizing the difference between regular and irregular cycles, and monitoring menstrual flow to identify normal or abnormal patterns. She also demonstrated the use of different types of sanitary pads and stressed the importance of practicing personal hygiene during menstruation.

Nana Nyanta Ware, representing Nana Serwaa Buruwa II, Akrokerri Hemaa, in her remarks acknowledged the valuable teachings provided during the event. She emphasized the importance of parents fostering strong relationships with their daughters to facilitate open communication, allowing children to express their concerns about menstruation.

Nana Nyanta urged parents to offer guidance and advice to their children, including abstaining from sex during menstruation to prevent teenage pregnancies. Additionally, she encouraged children to seek advice from their teachers during this time.

Ellen Allatu, a student of Christ The King Senior High School, shared her first menstrual experience in an interview, highlighting the support she received from her mother during these periods. She expressed gratitude for the valuable lessons learned from the program and thanked AngloGold Ashanti for educating teenagers about menstruation and providing free sanitary pads.

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