By Yunus S Saliu
Dozens of students and teachers of St John’s School for the Deaf have received comprehensive training on how to make reusable sanitary pads at a three-day training organized by the Comprehensive Health Education team under the Curriculum Research Evaluation and Development Directorate (CREDD) unit of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE).
The three-day interactive training from 22nd to 24th May 2023 with these special students was held at the school premises on Post Office Road, Kanifing and it is part of the highlighted activities to Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education (CHE) for the adolescents in The Gambia.
Comprehensive Health Education training is part of the implementation research findings on Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC). And it is meant to enlighten and educate in and out-of-school students on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH).
During the period of the training, the students were provided with free materials for the practical training while they were trained and learned how to produce a kit of reusable sanitary cloth pads and a storage bag for the pads that could last them for two years.
Nineteen students (10 from UBS – grades 8 and 9 and 9 from SSS grades 10 and 11) participated along with teachers from the students, while the participants will engage in step-down training with others that were not fortunate to be part of the concluded training.
Speaking on behalf of the Director of CREDD of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Mrs. Mitchell Rose Mendy thanked the school management for allowing the students to participate in the important training.
She thanked the CHE team for not relenting in their efforts in training them how to produce the reusable sanitary pad which he said is economical, especially for the students that are from low-income families.
As they end the training she observed that it was an interactive training that was very educative and not only the students participated but teachers as well.
Mr Baboucarr Gaye, the VP2 of the school thanked the organiser for this wonderful training. He wants such and more training of the nature to accord the students taking into consideration that they are special students that need more guidance.
He as well appreciated the materials given to them saying it enable them to participate fully without any hindrances.
Madam Jensita Aghali, Home Economics Teacher at St Theres Upper Basic School was one of the trainers she noted that the participating students appreciated the training and reusable sanitary pads they made but were given to them after the training.
She noted that within the period of three days, the students learned and produced reusable cloth sanitary pads and bags to preserve or keep the items while noting that the sets each of them produced can last them for a period of one to two years.
She thanked the CHE team through CREDD for this opportunity.
Phebian Ina Grant-Sanyang, the Principal Investigator for Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education for in and out-of-school adolescents in The Gambia applauded the trainers and interpreter for a job well done.
She reiterated that Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education for in and out-of-school adolescents in The Gambia is a project funded by the IDRC in Canada and implemented by the MoBSE.
She noted that the reusable cloth pads are comfortable and economical, most especially for ladies that are less privileged to get access to ready-made sanitary pads every month.
Among other areas, she said the students were also enlightened on the overview of their period, menstrual cycle, ovulation and its signs and symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome among other pertinent issues.
The students through the interpreter expressed appreciation and explained the knowledge gained as well as the relief the reusable sanitary pad will bring to them.