Managing menstruation is a struggle for many women in Ghana, and especially for those in the vulnerable communities in the northern region.
Working on the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Live Right Ghana (a health promotion NGO) has been empowering women groups at Limanfon, Madina, Dikpali, Bakpaba, and Makayili (all in the nanumba north municipality) to be able to manage their menstrual periods effectively.
For the year 2020, Live Right Ghana has pooled resources to acquire and donate 5 sewing machines to 5 women groups in the above communities to sew their own reusable and washable sanitary pads. The Board Chairperson of Live Right Ghana, Madam Khadija Osman, stated that the support was to help the women and girls of school going age have a sustainable alternative to deal with their menstrual problems. The pads can be used for one and half year before disposal. Menstrual cups that could also last for 10 years of usage before disposal was also introduced to the women groups.
After the donation on 27th April 2020, Live Right Ghana led the groups in 5 different training (8 women per training session due to the coronavirus and social distancing directives) sessions to sew some of the pads (using guidelines provided by Days for Girls International). The leaders of the training sessions (Francis Gurundow & Richmond Asiamah) mentioned that Live Right Ghana added to the groups packs of reusable and washable pad sewing materials to enable the groups sew, use, and sell complete menstrual pads. They added that the initiative will help the women improve their menstrual health, girls will stay at school even during menstrual periods, and vulnerable women will have an alternative source of income by selling the pads.