Itanagar, April 17: Arunachal Pradesh PHE Minister Bamang Felix has laid stress on the need for maintaining menstrual hygiene among girls and women and called upon the health managers to give a serious thought to the issue.
Attending a two-day workshop on Menstrual Hygiene Management as part of the Swachh Bharat Divas under Swachh Bharat Mission here on Tuesday, the minister urged the department concerned to take up the programme on a mission mode.
The workshop organized by the PHE department in collaboration with Mumbai based NGO – Red is the New Green in association with Aga Khan Health Services, is aimed at promoting good menstrual hygiene by imparting health education to girls and women on menstrual and menstrual hygiene, increase community action to improve access to clean toilets with water both at home and school, promoting the availability and use of sanitary napkins and enabling safe disposal of sanitary napkins.
“As ASHA workers already have the advantages of being in close contact with women in the community, they should take the issues very seriously at the ground level as they can make a significant difference to menstrual hygiene practices in the community,” Felix said in his address.
“Mentrual hygiene can be promoted in the community as well as in schools and it will be best by targeting the adolescent girls, although other women in the reproductive age group will also benefit from the information and access to sanitary napkins,” the minister added.
Felix further stated that responsibility does not only lie on the government but all the citizen of the State and country.
“It is our collective responsibility to educate and create awareness among all about the basic elements of menstruation and menstrual hygiene, proper use and safe disposal of sanitary napkins and how to communicate the benefits of sanitary napkins and motivate girls in the use of sanitary napkins,” he said.
He advised the resources persons to have brainstorming discussions on all aspects of menstrual hygiene in the two-day programme and recommend necessary issues to the government so that the issues can be taken up with utmost importance and the target of the menstrual hygiene mission be achieve before time.
Earlier, a brainstorming panel discussion was held with the resource persons like Deane De Mendes, founder of Red is the New Green and its members Dr Kranti Rayamane and Dr Madhuri Rayamane.
ASHA workers and chief engineers of the department discussed the problems face by them in educating about menstrual hygiene, problems face by adolescence girls and how menstruation is still considered as a taboo in the tribal society although it is a natural biological process experience by all adolescent girls and women yet it is not spoken about openly causing unnecessary embarrassment and shame.