As the world struggle to find ways and means to eliminate the novel Corona-virus (COVID-19) which is ravaging the earth surface like a widespread fire, is like almost all attention by governments, policy makers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are directed in that course.
It is in this light that WaterAid Ghana is appealing to government functionaries, policy makers as well as CSOs to help women and girls get basic essential menstrual period products during pandemics.
According to WaterAid Ghana women and girls across the globe are facing increasing struggles to access the sanitary products and facilities they need to manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.
WaterAid Ghana in a statement issued in Accra to mark the Menstrual Hygiene Day which falls on 28th May in each year noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated gender inequalities and the outfit is therefore calling for menstrual health, water and sanitation provision to be prioritised in the long-term responses to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Globally, one in four women and girls do not have access to a decent toilet, making it more difficult to manage their periods hygienically. During the pandemic, some shared or public toilets were inaccessible, resulting in safety risks for those who rely on these facilities. Others have found it harder to get water at a time when households need to wash their hands more regularly and may not have enough water for menstrual needs.” Part of the statement read.
Throwing more light on the topic and what WaterAid Ghana has been doing to help government address issues of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) via telephone interview, with Franklin ASARE-DONKOH, the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Mr Abdul Nashiru Mohammed explained that as government of Ghana works round the clock to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, more attention is being focused on vital life-saving measures such as hygiene campaigns, health care and the provision of personal protective equipment.
This he said was an opportunity for government to prioritise the provision of clean water, good sanitation and hygiene. “Provision of WASH is not only critical in the fight against coronavirus but also essential for women and girls to manage their periods.” Mr Nashiru Mohammed reiterated.
WaterAid Ghana’s Country Director assured the general public that his outfit is continuing its work throughout the pandemic to provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to people living in poverty, including helping vulnerable people to access menstrual hygiene products and information.
He hinted that,WaterAid has built separate toilets for girls and boys with private rooms, furnished with long mirrors and hanger hooks for girls to take care of themselves especially during their menses in some selected schools in the Upper East region.
The construction of these facilities, Mr Nashiru Mohammed explained is to prevent girl’s absenteeism from school during their periods. Additionally, WaterAid Ghana is collaborating with Days for Girls to train selected women groups in Bongo and Kassena Nankana West to sew reusable pads. He added.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH/