Menstruation & Menstrual Hygiene Amongst Ghanaian Women
Ladies, being all active in every sphere of today’s modern world, also have responsibilities of good health and well-being. Healthy habits are the best ways to avoid diseases (primary prevention). Personal and menstrual hygiene are areas in health which most women cannot afford to ignore; they are basics when it comes to lady’s health and lifestyle. Menstruation is the monthly shedding of lining of a woman’s uterus.
The menstrual blood contains dead epithelial tissues, broken vessels, leucocytes etc. and therefore generally regarded as “dirty blood”. The flow of blood and the dead cells create a medium which is favorable for the growth of micro-organisms. As a result, some women may in turn encounter some challenges during or after menstruation.
As mentioned earlier, even without any external microorganisms, the blood itself is enough to cause infections. Menstrual hygiene is therefore very crucial as it prevents these infections of the reproductive tract such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which could lead to other future complications. One of the challenges that really affect women during the menstrual period is access to sanitary pads.
But the question is, how many Ghanaian residents (both young and old) especially those living in the rural areas are able to afford sanitary pads and perform proper menstrual hygiene practices? In Ghana, menstrual hygiene largely depends on the socioeconomic status and the community. This means that, the combination of educational level, income received and occupational status have an impact of the ability of women to keep up with hygiene during menstruation
Most women and girls living in rural areas find it difficult purchasing sanitary pads meanwhile one of the best practices of menstrual hygiene is for one to change sanitary pads at least twice every day. How many individuals can afford a sanitary pad in a day not to talk of twice every day. It is on this note that, Icon of Ladies Initiative under the auspices of Sharearly foundation has introduced Pad Bank Ghana.
Pad Bank Ghana is an initiative that focuses on providing free sanitary pads three times every year to rural areas in different regions in Ghana. This initiative is meant to educate women on the need to use sanitary pads and to change pads regularly. Our first Project was done at Antwikrom, a town in the western Region. These are some of the comments from our beneficiaries: