The CHP (Community Health Project) Team conducted an Awareness Programme about Menstrual Health & Hygiene, and the use of sanitary napkins, at the Monobikash Field area in Kolkata. It also included health and hygiene education for adolescent girls and women. There were 50 participants in all.
The Team addressed the following topics:
Menstruation: Its nature, cause and what happens when a girl has her period.
Menstruation is a not disease.
Poor menstrual hygiene and its effects on health.
Certain practices which are likely to increase the risks of infection- such as using cloths instead of sanitary napkins; not washing and drying them properly, preferably in the sun. We advised them to use sanitary napkins instead of cloth; to maintain personal cleanliness; to have frequent change of napkins (3-4 times a day and also hygienic disposal of used sanitary napkins.
Maintaining proper toilet hygiene.
They were also able to discuss some of the social taboos associated with menstruation, such as:
Not touching plants and trees for fear of them withering and dying
Not entering temples
Remaining in isolation and being regarded as uncountable
The team distributed 48 packets (of 20 sanitary napkins each) and a panty to each attendee. These were possible thorough donations from friends.
The CHP Team also distributed Iron Tablets, Cough mixtures, Anti- Inflammatory Gels and Vaginal Tablets.
Ladies with Gynae problems were advised to visit the clinic at Jan Seva.
During a previous visit the team had noticed an elderly lady who had no slippers and were able to provide her a pair on this visit.
At the end of it all the CHP Team left feeling that they had made a satisfactory beginning to addressing a cause that was worthy and could impact the quality of lives of these women.
The CHP Team plan to make many more field visits to different areas in the near future. We realise that it will not be possible to keep providing sanitary napkins free of cost and therefore are looking into the possibility of contacting an organisation which manufactures sanitary napkins and is willing to supply them to us at a nominal price, or even free.
Having visited the neighborhood several times now, the CHP Team also hope to can train these ladies to setup a self-income generating project. This is just a thought at the moment, but we are looking forward to it becoming a reality with your HELP!
All this Wonderful work with Economically weaker Women is because of the Dedication of Dr. J.N. Hartnett and the entire CHP Team.