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Menstruation is a natural gift that safeguards the continuity of generations, Midwife Helen Ghebretatios

Meet Helen Ghebretatios. After scoring a full grade of 4 in her matriculation exams, she joined the College of Health Science in Asmara and got a degree in Nursing. In 2017-2019, she pursued graduate studies and earned a Master’s degree in Midwifery. Helen works for the Reproductive and Sexual Health Department at the Ministry of Health. Q&A presents a short interview she had with Hadas Eritrea, the Tigrigna Newspaper.

  • Please tell us something about yourself and why you chose Nursing as a study?

I was inspired to be good at my studies when I was in elementary school. Powered by my inspirations and my parents’ help, I was able to hold myself as one of the best students of the school throughout my high school years. When I went to Sawa, I still tried to upgrade my capacity as a student. I wasn’t nervous about taking my matriculation exams. I was calm and did my studies.

After getting my scores in the Matriculation Exams, I wanted to join the Nursing school. There could be reason for that. Nursing is the closest school that would allow one to be engaged with a patient. Also, most of my aunties are nurses, which is one of the reasons I wanted to join the section. Nursing could be laborious. However, the satisfaction one gets by helping the patients is a great reason for nurses to do their job effortlessly.

Our classes required us to visit hospitals and take our lessons practically in the morning while we took our theoretical lessons in the afternoon, which can be tiresome and hectic at times.

  • Many people think Nursing is a woman’s job; anything you would like to say about that?

It may be because in the past the people who chose Nursing as a career were mostly females. This went on for many years and it is only natural for people to take it that way, which is totally wrong. The number of people who pursue the field has been rising in both genders.

  • You continued your studies to get your Master’s on Midwifery?

Midwifery is one of the specializations of nursing. A girl goes through stages in her life time: the start of menstruation to menopause and menopause till the end of her life. Midwifery is a section that gives care throughout these stages. It gives health tips and information and cares for women during pregnancy and delivery. A midwife is also who women turn to for help before pregnancy and after delivery and if they have problems with reproductive organs.

  • Menstruations, what do girls need to know before it starts?

Basically, they should be well informed about menstruation and everything related to it at school and at home. We should all be aware of this. If a girl has her period without any knowledge about it, she can become a victim of physiological pressure. But if she has sufficient knowledge about it nothing will be new to her. Menstruation is a natural gift which ensures the continuation of generations. It is not something to be kept a secret or embarrassed about.
Also, first time girls should be advised better on how to properly use the pads. Long hours of usage can lead to many things including infections.

  • Thank you for your time; is there anything else you would like to add at last, Helen?

I would like to continue studying and get my PhD. I also would like to thank my parents and the Government of Eritrea for the opportunities it has extended to us to be educated for free.

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