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Menstrual hygiene book ‘No more suffering in silence’ launched on the eCampus app

Discussions about menstruation, a natural phenomenon in women, have been considered taboo in many cultures and societies around the world for centuries. Millions of girls and women suffer in silence.

Girls miss school or even drop out altogether to avoid being teased and ridiculed because of the misinformation, shame and stigma surrounding menstruation.

Many girls experience their first period with extreme shock and fear, without knowing anything about menstruation; others are bombarded with superstition and misinformation.

The phenomenon occurs in women on average every 28-day cycle, for an average of 5 days. Ten years ago, on May 28, 2014, Menstrual Hygiene Day was celebrated worldwide for the first time and has been celebrated every year since then on the 28th day of the 5th month of the year.

The day is dedicated to breaking taboos and raising awareness about access to menstrual products and the importance of proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM).

According to UNICEF, approximately 1.8 billion people around the world menstruate every month. The majority of them are young people living in the global south, especially in Africa. There is an urgent need to educate the general public about menstruation in general, menstrual hygiene in particular, and, as a matter of necessity, advocate for a menstruation-friendly society.

Rhoda Kadoa Wedam, menstrual hygiene advocate and founder of the Song-Ba Empowerment Center in Tamale, in the Northern Region of Ghana, wrote the book ‘No More Suffering in Silence. An Illustrated Guide to Menstruation” to help parents, teachers, girls and women, boys and men understand the meaning of menstruation, the importance of menstrual hygiene and the collective responsibility of everyone in providing a supportive environment for our sisters and mothers those without fault of theirs should experience the natural occurrence of menstruation every 28 days.

Cecil Senna Nutakor, Founder and CEO of eCampus, met the author of No More Suffering in Silence, Rhoda Kadoa Wedam, at Lucy Quist’s Bold New Normal conference as panelists in October 2023 in Accra, Ghana. A collaboration was started between eCampus and the author to create an interactive digital version of the book; No More Suffering in Silence in English, French and Arabic for distribution on the eCampus app on its mobile and web platforms.

The paperback and interactive digital copies of the book on menstrual hygiene will be released on Africa Day, May 25, 2024; No More Suffering in Silence was successfully launched in Tamale, the Northern Region of Ghana, in preparation for the 10th anniversary of the World Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration, scheduled for May 28, 2024, with the theme of a Period-Friendly World.

Several dignitaries were present at the book launch dedicated to promoting advocacy in the field of menstrual hygiene.

Mrs Beata Akanjani, Chairperson of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation Sector (Coniwas), in her presentation on the theme 2024 for the celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day, which states: ‘Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld’.

She pointed out that girls in Ghana miss up to 5 days of school per month during menstruation due to inadequate WASH facilities, lack of sanitary products and feelings of discomfort, for example cramps (Sanitary Pad Interventions for Girls’ Education in Ghana, 2012 ). . This amounts to approximately 15 school days per school year and 45 per academic year, enough to cause a failure in an exam, further disadvantaging girls and perpetuating gender inequality.

Rev. Sanatu Nantogma, the Executive Director of Tuma Kavi Development Association, delivered the launch speech to officially launch the book along with other dignitaries. Furthermore, she cited a UNESCO study (2011) which stated that each additional year of education for a woman reduces the risk of infant mortality by 5 to 10 percent.

This statistic underscores the far-reaching impact of education on societal health and well-being. By providing girls with the necessary tools (including relevant information as contained in Rhoda’s No More Suffering in Silence) to manage their periods and thereby facilitate their stay at school, we are not only improving their lives, but also contributing to the broader health and well-being of our communities.

The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service was represented by Mrs. Linda Amoah, the Girl Child Coordinator for the Northern Region. She said there has always been misinformation about menstruation and it is often seen as taboo in some communities, which has had a negative impact on girls. She also mentioned the lack of structures in schools to help girls deal with menstruation. The book’s launch is timely and will help girls deal with menstrual problems while serving as a guideline for teachers and parents.

The Head of Mission of UNICEF, Tamale. Bhanu Pathak extended his message of solidarity with a speech. He stated that UNICEF focuses on sanitation and hygiene as a global concern. Menstrual Hygiene has been approved by the UNICEF Board as a core program in which they work to improve access to menstrual hygiene supplies. He promised that UNICEF would support the distribution of the books in Ghana.

The Sabta-Naa of the Dagbon gave its message of solidarity, as did several development partners such as World Vision, Afram Plains Development Organization, Catholic Relief Services and Adamfo Ghana. Those who also shared their messages of solidarity were Sussane Bellinghausen, chairman of the Song-Ba Empowerment Center. Lucy Quist, founding member of the Executive Women Network, Janet Sunkwa-Mill, Executive Chair of the Executive Women Network and Kevin Brosnahan of the U.S. Embassy, ​​Ghana.

To make the book widely accessible to young girls and boys, 10,000 copies of the paperback book will be distributed to schools across Ghana in the first phase this year.

The interactive digital version of the book is available online worldwide via eCampus’ mobile and web apps. Use these four (4) basic steps below to access the book on eCampus.

Step 1. Visit the eCampus website at https://eCampus.camp to download the eCampus app.

Step 2. Log in and seek no more suffering in silence.

Step 3. Tap or click Classes to access the book.

Step 4. Tap or click Course to start interacting with the chapters in the book.

The more you interact with the book by reading, answering questions, and participating in discussions about chapters of the book, the more points you earn. With your points, you can subscribe to other courses and subjects on the eCampus app, including but not limited to Junior and Senior High School subjects, Nursing and Midwifery licensing courses and Employability Assessment programs for college students and graduates seeking employment.

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