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95% of girls from Northern and Upper East regions don’t attend schools during menstrual period-research has revealed


The Catholic Relief Service (CRS), a Christian based non profit organization in collaboration with the University for Development Studies (UDS ) WASH center and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) has launched a damning menstrual hygiene management report for the northern and upper east regions.

The research report was launched by CRS of Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire  Mr Kris H. Ozar the organization representative for the two countries revealed the difficulties girls find themselves in during their menses particularly when they in school.

The report indicated that 95% of girls miss school during their menstrual period. Fifty-nine percent (59 to 90% ) of girls it revealed, also feel ashamed during the menstrual period.

The reported further indicated that 20% of girls don’t attend school because facilities to enable them manage themselves in a more dignified manner are not available and their male counterparts mock them.

Most school girls the researchers interviewed in the area don’t know anything about menstrual hygiene.

The drop out rate in the country according to the researchers is on the increase with girls leading with 65% follow by boys at 58%.

Dr Braimah Apambire, Senior Assistant to the President, a Global Sustainability Initiatives Director, Center for International Water and Sustainability presented the findings at a day symposium in Tamale.

Dr Apambire said water, sanitation and hygiene issues are critical in increasing enrollment in schools and urged government to take the lead in providing potable water.

The objective of the research was to shed light on the factors which keep young girls from attending school during their menses.

The findings was also to evaluate the effectiveness of CRS I-SHINE menstrual hygiene management component including the installation of KVIP latrines and sanitary pads changing room as well as behavioural change communication.

The 4,000.00 US dollar research also offer stakeholders the opportunity to better understand the barriers which still exist for girls that keep them from attending school during their menses.

Speaking to Azara News, the CRS country representative urged private sector players to join efforts in providing the needed facilities in the schools. Mr Kris assured that CRS will continue to invest and work with Ghana health service and schools for the interest of girls in particular.

The CRS he added works in 138 schools in six districts in the northern and upper east regions to ensure that the girls have access to education. The CRS intervention Mr explained was to ensure that girls don’t miss even a day in school during their menses.

The Northern Regional Coordinator of School Health Education Program (SHEP) Benedict Kafari said much still remains to be done in rural schools. Madam Benedict who presented state of menstrual hygiene in the region lamented the lack of facilities such as toilets, urinals pits and changing rooms for girls.

Mr Abdallah Abubakari, the northern regional minister said, government has put in place measures that seek to alleviate the problem of absenteeism of girls during their menses.

He mentioned the distribution of free sanitary pads to girls by the ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as some of the measures to ensure that the girls stay in school.

Mr Abubakari commended CRS for providing substantial amount of money for the research, adding it shows the level of commitment they have attached to the negative effects of girls staying out of school during menses because they feel they are not unclean.

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