|Mama Adzorhlor III, Queen Mother of Dagbamete, addressing the women while holding a menstrual cup.
Over one hundred women and teenage girls attended two workshops on menstrual health and hygiene held in the village on January 2. Led by Alberta Klokpa, a teacher at Dagbamete Basic School, and by Mawuse Edith Nyakpo, headmistress of Tegbi-Kpota E.P. Basic School in Anloga district, the workshops addressed menstrual health and how to improve it among the women and girls of the village.
Held at the behest of Mama Adzorhlor III, Queen Mother of Dagbamete, the workshops covered the myths and truths of menstruation, the challenges women and girls face during their periods, and offered a new innovative solution that they can use to comfortably get through what has been a stressful part of their menstrual cycle.
According to recent reports on menstrual health in Ghana, at least nine out of ten girls miss school during their menstrual periods. Among the reasons cited are lack of sanitary products, taboos, and the shame associated with inadequate menstrual hygiene. The high cost of menstrual pads, at about 20 cedis each, makes effective control of menstrual bleeding inaccessible to many girls.
Ninety workshop participants completed a menstrual health questionnaire. Among the findings are that 42% never or only sometimes found their menstrual materials comfortable, 37% often or always worried about running out of menstrual materials, and 41% never or only sometimes could get more when they needed to.
|School girls listening to instructors Alberta Klokpa (standing right) and Mawuse Edith Nyakpo (standing left).
Leisa Hirtz, CEO of Women's Health Innovations, the Canadian company that developed the Bfree cup, visited Dagbamete in October 2023 at the invitation of the Queen Mother to lay the groundwork for a pilot study. The two workshops held this week are the beginnings of what is hoped to be program that will be expanded to schools throughout the Akatsi South district and beyond. The program is supported through fundraising by Kayla Becker in America and Suzanne Tyson in Canada, both of whom have visited the village.