Menstruation, Monthly Nightmare for Girls in Rural Areas in Cameroon

Marceline Ebo’o Zeh wears a broad smile, bucket in hand. Inside the plastic bucket is a pack of reusable pads, cubes of savon and a leaflet that details out how to calculate one’s menstrual cycle.

These have just been gifted to the teenager in her native Zoetele, South Region of Cameroon, one of the many rural areas where infection rates due to poor menstrual hygiene are high among women according to the United Nations reports.

Miss Ebo’o seems flattered with the symbolic parcel which according to her will be of great help.

“I haven’t seen such pads before; they are very new to me. I am happy I can use, wash and use again. They will help me not to suffer when menstruating,” she says with a broad smile.

She is among the 110 young girls taking home the same gifts, donated by “Association Génération 90”, a grouping of Cameroonians born in the 90s who want to ease the period of menstrual flow that often sees 1 in 3 women in Cameroon according to UN statistics stop their activities to manage it.

In Zoetele, early pregnancies are rampant with victims being teenagers.

Many have attributed this to the non mastery of menstruation and their menstrual cycle.

On this World Day of Menstrual Hygiene, the G90 Association has taken out time to explain to the young girls how to calculate their cycle.

Moreover, educative talks were done to teach the girls how to use and preserve their pads.

Participants, some of whom came with their new born babies had the chance to ask questions on how to manage their flow, the length of time it should last and what to do in case of doubts.

Members of “Génération 90” Association responded to their worries while sensitising men to join the cue to ensure that no girl misses school or anything because of menstruation.

The Divisional Officer for Zoetele, Gilbert Ongodo Ondobo and other administrative authorities of the area used the donations exercise to caution beneficiaries of the sanitary kits to put them to proper use.

The reusable hygiene kits are said to last two years if well preserved and tips on this were shared with beneficiaries by the Association’s President, Andréa Tsanga.

Emmanuella Wvemnyuy

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