[Practical Menstruation Intervention in Schools]

Maintaining an active lifestyle, avoidance of stress and tension during periods, and its culminating effect on school dropout and attendance has become a concern to girls, parents, education sector players, civil society and international development partners. J Initiative (JI) has therefore embarked on a project dubbed “Happy School Girl Project”, is a comprehensive programs to make school environment comfortable and enjoyable for school children. It is aimed at bringing home information about hygiene during this period of the month and also work to improve the lives of girls and women through strengthening Menstrual Hygiene knowledge and practices.

Globally, approximately 52% of the female population (26% of the total population) is of reproductive age. Most of these women and girls menstruate each month for between two and seven days. Menstruation is an integral and normal part of human life and indeed of human existence. Menstrual hygiene is fundamental to the dignity and wellbeing of women and girls and of course an important part of the basic hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health services to which everywoman and girl has a right.

Education is a key to success for boys and girls; The Happy School Girl Project draws attention to the challenges, practices and benefits of menstrual hygiene experienced by girls in Ghana.  The reusable pads are not new, but are an improvement on the “rags” used prior to the introduction of the disposable sanitary pads.  Although there have been some interventions in menstrual hygiene, there has not been much effort at comprehensively addressing the core issues of affordability, without compromising hygiene, safety and ease of use. JI believes that by addressing health education and taboo topics with sensitivity, it is hoped that girls would be better able to understand and integrate their science knowledge into their daily lives. Additionally, with the introduction of reusable menstrual pads, it is hoped that girls would be better able to manage their personal hygiene with confidence. At the core of this project is the provision of knowledge and materials for schoolgirls so as to allow them to have normal daily routine and effectively participate in learning activities without being disrupted by the issues of flow. J Initiative believes Menstrual hygiene needs to be tackled comprehensively and contextually, to give women and girls the confidence and space to voice their need for improved menstrual hygiene.