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25 July 2016

Majority of teenage girls in Northern Ghana drop out of school over menstruation

Photo Lib: of school girls

Photo Lib: of school girls

A research conducted by the Catholic Relief Services, the University for Development Studies and the Desert Research Institute has shown that about 59-95 of teenage girls in Northern Ghana have little knowledge about issues of menstrual hygiene.

According to the research about 95 percent of these girls miss school during their menstrual periods because they are mocked at by their peers especially the boys.

The research also showed that girls in their menses are perceived as unclean making it difficult for them to stay in school or attend social events during that time of the month.

Presenting the findings at a symposium in Tamale, the Coordinator of Schools Health Education Program, Bernadette Kafari said many people in the Northern region stigmatize young girls or women when they are in their menstrual periods leading to school dropout.

She said at the lower level the dropout rate is low but as they progress to the senior high school the dropout rates increased to 65 percent for girls and 58 percent for the boys.

Madam Kafari said they have had to mobilise key stake

holders in the region to help address the findings.

The Country Representative of the Catholic Relief Service Kris H. Ozar charged stakeholders in the education sector to support in the mobilization of resources to help tackle the issues of menstrual hygiene in schools across the country.

He said issues of menstrual hygiene remain a challenge in the country and called for its management.

The Country Director said despite Ghana’s growth in education and health the Northern and the Upper East regions are still struggling to reach their full potential.

Mr Ozar said absenteeism is rife in the two regions with the retention of girls in schools becoming a huge challenge.

He said the Catholic Relief Service is working in the education sector to ensure increase the enrolment and retention of the girl child in school.

Mr Ozar said currently CRS and its partners are working with 138 schools in six districts in the Northern and Upper East Region on menstrual hygiene.

He added that they are targeting the enrolment and retention of about 122,758 pupils in these schools at the end of the three year duration.

Mr Ozar said the CRS is also working hand-in-hand with the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service to mobilise and sensitise parents and Teachers on menstrual hygiene to help curb the absenteeism in these regions.

Mr Ozar called on the private sector to support the projects to ensure its success.

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