26 February

Menstrual hygeine

62% of young women in India still using cloth for menstrual hygiene says the NFHS report 2015-2016. A film on menstruation set in rural India won the Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 91st Academy Awards. In January 2019, there was a report of a  woman and her two sons suffocated to death in Nepal after she was forced to sleep in a windowless shed during her period. The ancient tradition was outlawed in 2005, yet it remains prevalent in Nepal's remote west. The monthly exclusion leaves women at risk of snake bites, attacks by wild animals and rape. Basically, both the survey and the film and the incident in Nepal show how so many taboos around menstruation still exist in many conservative societies.

The NFHS report also shows that States with more female literacy like Kerala and Tamilnadu showed more awareness amongst women about menstruation and also the increased use of menstrual pad and hygienic menstrual practices. This is an indicator as to what needs to be done.

Health education and awareness of the reproductive cycle and the importance of the menstrual cycle could thus be the main step. Including menstrual hygiene in the school curriculum, educating the women through mass media, the internet can also go a long way. Videos relating to menstrual hygiene can also be played in various women’s health centres, government hospitals and Schools.

Women in India are still not very comfortable discussing in public about reproductive health. Spreading awareness using digital technology and smartphones could make her seek information proactively, as she can get information in the privacy of her home at the click of a button, saving her the embarrassment. Technology could thus be used to democratize health information.

Last modified on Friday, 01 March 2019 14:00
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.

www.medhealthtv.com

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