Menstrual Health and Hygiene Awareness Event in Komalikudi
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
The MA Math held an event on menstrual health and hygiene awareness on February 17th in Komalikudi village in Idukki, Kerala with a distribution of Saukhyam Reusable Pads.
Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan (Dean, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham) and Anju Bist (Coordinator, Saukhyam Pads) Rajani Menon (Director, JSS Idukki), Social worker and nurse Soja K Baby were present at the event. The Amrita SeRVe village coordinator and health worker Shobna Anilkumar ensured that all the village women and teenage girls attended the event.
Social worker Soja started conducting a menstrual health and hygiene awareness session first, inquiring about how familiar the audience is with the topic. Then, starting from the beginning, she explained the menarche, the first period of a girl, and how the menstrual cycle works in general. Soja also taught the importance of healthy eating and including leafy vegetables in the diet. Also, Soja made them aware of the good practices of keeping the menstrual cloth hygienic and drying it in the sun light after washing.
Men also took part in the session and carefully listened to the health and hygiene aspects. When the interactive part of the session started, the male audience left the hall, giving space for the women to ask sensitive questions which are causing concerns. The community has its own tradition about menstruation, so any doubt could be cleared in that question-answer session.
The consulting a doctor in the nearest Primary Health Center (PHC) when having problems or complications was emphasized.
The gathering culminated in menstrual pad distribution provided by MA Math. 800 colourful Saukhyam Reusable Pads were distributed to the women and girls: eight (8) pads per woman, four cloth pads and four banana fibre cloth pads.
The Panchayat President and Ward member requested two packs each for their personal use. “We have become allergic to even the most expensive sanitary pads. I now use adult diapers costing Rs. 500 a pack during the time of my mensus. My daughter also develops itching and swelling when she uses the pads sold at the market. The Saukhyam Reusable pads have come as a blessing to women of menstruating age.”