By Makutu Manneh
Union Aid Foundation The Gambia (UAID), has sensitised two hundred adolescent and school going girls and boys, on menstrual and sexual reproductive health at the Tanji Lower Basic School.
According to members, the foundation aims to educate adolescent girls and boys, their parents and teachers, on the above related issues and to assist young girls address the challenges they face in their societies, in relation to these issues. They informed the young people on the concept of menstruation and on SRH, especially the best practices during menstruation, by meeting and discussing with students and their teachers, in their classrooms.
At the end of the session, a majority of the students confessed that they knew little about such issues and said engaging them has taught them a lot about menstrual and sexual reproductive health.
Alhagie Manneh, founder and Chairperson of the foundation, said their purpose is to help young people understand that menstruation is a normal occurrence in the lives of women and adolescent girls.
“They should feel comfortable talking about these issues and the boys should support them at all times during menstruation, as this will help them stay in school,” he said. He said they are also working on the process of the school having a club on menstrual and sexual reproductive health.
Mr Manneh advised the public to join the drive in providing adequate social support to women and girls during menstruation, to help reduce the challenges they often faced. That during menstruation, women and girls go through anxiety, depression, discrimination and stigma in their communities. He said it is important to support them to ensure women and girls stay healthy and also maintain school in order for them to reach their full potential.
Babucarr Saho discussed with the students about the concept of menstruation; Oumie Drammeh took them on the benefits of menstruation hygiene; Mariama Sallah informed the boys on ways to support girls during menstruation while Isatou Sissoho, talked to them about the best practices during menstruation, and the medium of communication used to sensitise them was English, Mandinka and Wollof.