Paynesville – The program officer of Community Health Initiative (CHI), Ms. Orfina Foday has encouraged females, especially adolescent girls across the country to take proper care of themselves during their menstrual period.
By Siaway T. Miapue
Speaking during the observance of World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021, Ms. Foday told the young women and girls attending the program that taking care of their menstruation properly will contribute to a healthy life and safe environment.
“Once you are on your period, you should make sure to use your sanitary pad. If you don’t have a sanitary pad and you are using your tower, make sure to wash it very clean” she said.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management at a global level. It was initiated by the German-based NGO ‘WASH United’ in 2014.
For some, menstruation may be an inconvenience they do not give much thought to. But for millions of others, for the onset of menstruation may lead to child marriage and sexual violence. Other adverse effects include stigma, where girls face banishment to menstruation huts; missed opportunity- girls skipping school because of pain, discomfort or lack of personal hygiene products; and loss of dignity often caused by lack of supplies in humanitarian and refugee settings where even basics like soap and water are in short supply or unavailable.
The theme of this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day is “Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health.” In Liberia Paramount Young Women Initiative and Community Health Initiative jointly celebrated the day with high school students drawn from several schools including the Calvary Chapel Mission School in Paynesville, Carver Mission Academy and Action Faith Institute.
The students held placards displaying pro menstrual hygiene messages and a huge banner carrying the inscription “A Liberia without Period, Poverty and Stigma is Possible.”
Explaining her first time experience, Esther S. Daykeay of the Action Faith Institute said on several occasions, she was told by her aunt not to go around boys to prevent her from pregnancy.
But she said from the awareness, she has learned more about menstruation, and now know exactly what to do when she is seeing her period. She said there is a need to educate the male students to be a help and as a mean to combat stigma associated with menstruation. She called on her peers and adolescent girls to always seek advice from their parents and older women during this delegate stage of their lives.
“We should go around boys and even educate them. It is also good that as female, we should seek advice from other who knows about menstrual hygiene” she said.
Also speaking, Hamel Yardanmah thanked the Paramount Young Women Initiative and Community Health Initiative in seeing the need to celebrate this year’s menstrual Hygiene day with students.