World Menstrual Hygiene Day: PeriodFriendlyWorld


Menstrual Hygiene Day Celebration

Menstrual Hygiene Day is a global advocacy platform that is commemorated every 28th day of May. The day is observed on 28 May because menstrual cycles average 28 days in length and people menstruate an average of five days each month. (May is the fifth month of the year.) The objective is to advocate for accessibility, affordability, and availability of safe menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) for women and girls. This year we are commemorating the Menstrual Hygiene Day under the Theme: “Together for a #periodFriendly world.

To commemorate the day, GRACARO carried out an activity on the 28th of May 2024, at the Ntaghang community Bamenda, Cameroon. The objectives of the activity were; Engaging conversations with women, girls and boys including Global Unity to let them understand what it takes for girls to feel safe during their periods, breaking the silence, change negative social norms, and raise awareness to end the stigma surrounding menstruation, having pads at home and any environment you find yourself, and to have the boys involved in the conversation towards Together for period friendly day.

Interactive conversations, presentations, power talks, questions and answers, as well as gifting were among the tactics and approaches used at the event, which yielded positive outcomes. Hosting All session moderators were physically present for the Menstrual Hygiene Day, which was held at the Ntaghang community by GRACARO representatives. The program started with a welcome speech from GRACARO team to the community and then followed by a word of prayer from pastor Tambe Tabi who is a member of the Blue Bar Unity of Ntaghang community. Mr Hermann the health officer of GRACARO, began his remarks by extending a warm welcome to everybody who had attended the occasion. He spoke about GRACARO’S history.

He reiterated the importance of having both girls   and parents commemorate this day because periods are a natural occurrence, and no one should be ashamed, it shouldn’t be a secret and neither should anyone shame any girl who is on periods. He went ahead to explain that they will be learning how to prevent period shaming, how to eradicate period poverty, and how to maintain good hygiene during periods.

He started by defining Puberty, which is the process of physical changes by which adolescents reach sexual maturity. A girl or a boy may notice these changes between the ages of 9 to 15 years although it may happen earlier or later. These changes occur due to secretions in the body called ‘hormones’ which are vital for growth and development, changes such physical, emotional and social changes occur in a girl’s life when she is growing up.

Physical changes include: Height gain, Weight gain, Acne, Growth of hair on the armpits and genitalia, Voice becomes high pitched, Development of the vagina and breasts, Menstruation Emotional, Ambition/Desire/Dreams, Shyness, Strong opinions Social Responsibility

Talk on Menstrual Hygiene

He continued his speech by defining the term “hygiene, “and went on to ask the participants what occurs if they don’t practice good hygiene, to which they replied that they might be contaminated with diseases. He went on to say that proper washing of the vagina, healthy eating, drinking water, and wiping from front to back were ways to keep the vagina in good hygiene during periods. He also mentioned that there are several menstrual products including super reusable pads, disposable pads and tampons which have different hygiene procedures. He said that depending on the blood flow, it’s crucial to change pads every after six to eight hours every day when menstruating.

He also talk about the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which is a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle. PMS symptoms occur 1 to 2 weeks before your menstruation or monthly bleeding starts. For some people, PMS is just a monthly bother. For others, it may be so severe that it makes it hard to even get through the day. PMS goes away when your monthly periods stop, such as when you get pregnant or go through menopause. PMS often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as:  Acne/pimples, Swollen or tender breasts, feeling tired, Trouble sleeping, upset stomach, bloating, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea Headache or backache, Appetite changes or food cravings, Joint or muscle pain, Trouble with concentration or memory, Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells.

He further talks about the various reasons why women suffer cramps during their periods, including it being a common occurrence, sometimes caused by medical disorders such as cyst, endometriosis or even fibroids, and vulva contraction. Finally, he stated that it is important to maintain track of the cycle to avoid staining yourself, and for healthy flow checks.

Mr Hermann went further teaching the youths how to calculate their menstrual cycle, since some of them complained of not knowing when the next month period starts, so it was explained

Ms. Glory gave final words, thanking all of the partners who helped make the event a success, and everyone who came to help make the event a success. Soap was giving to those below menstruation age, and pads to the young girls as well as bathing soaps to the parents and those that were there to ensure everything went well. GRACARO hopes that they can continue with such initiative which can help make periodFriendly world.




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