Health

100 Incinerator Machines Installed For Safe Disposal of Sanitary Napkins in Govt Schools:Sidhu

Punjab News Express | October 01, 2019 09:52 PM

CHANDIGARH: In a bid to ensure safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environmentally friendly manner, the Punjab Government had installed the 100 Sanitary Incinerators machines in government schools of 7 districts under the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme.  

Disclosing this here today, the Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the Health Department, in coordination with Department of education had installed the 100 Sanitary Incinerators machines in the schools of districts Moga, Mukatsar, Bathinda, Fazilka, Faridkot, and SAS Nagar as a pilot project. He said that disposal of menstrual waste is a major challenge as it affects health and environment and there is a need of effective long term solution. He said that sanitary incinerator is an effective method to dispose off sanitary napkins. It is eco-friendly, it burns up waste resulting in no waste of water. The ash left behind after incineration is sterile and safe for disposal. He said after getting the positive results, this project will also be extended to the other districts of State.

“Menstrual Hygiene is a natural process however it is still a-taboo in our society as it is considered unclean and dirty. Good menstrual hygiene is every girl’s right as it is crucial for health, education and dignity of girls and women”, he added.

The Minister divulged that studies have shown that not only does the shame and inconvenience of not having proper menstrual hygiene products can force young girls to drop out of school. He said that according to an advocacy organisation for sexual and reproductive health, 23% girls listed menstruation as the main reason for dropping out of school.

The Minister further said that Punjab Government has also re-launched the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme (MHS) 2018-19 for adolescent girls residing in rural areas of districts Bathinda, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Faridkot, SAS Nagar, Moga and Muktsar under Brand name “MUSKAAN’. He said that to address the need of Menstrual Hygiene among adolescent girls residing primarily in rural areas, The Punjab Government had announced the MHS Budget with an allocation of Rs 139 lakhs in year 2018-19. He said that adolescent girls, primarily rural, between the age group of 10 to 19 years of age can avail the benefits of this scheme at subsidized rate.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu also said that the primary objective of Menstrual Hygiene Scheme is to spread awareness about hygiene and to promote sanitary napkins distribution among adolescent girls through ASHAs and ANMs. He said that a range of IEC material is  being developed around Menstrual hygiene Scheme, to create awareness among adolescent girls about safe & hygienic menstrual health practices which includes video(short film), and reading materials.  

The Minister added that ASHAs across the pilot districts are being re-oriented to play a significant role in promotion of use and distribution of the sanitary napkins, ‘MUSKAAN” amongst adolescent girls. He said that it is being  made  to  converge  with  other departments  like  Education , Women  and Child Development  Department, Punjab to  reach to adolescent girls for Menstrual Hygiene in more acceptable  and adolescent  friendly  manner.

The Minister also said that ready-made napkin is not an issue for urban women but for rural women still they are using cloth as an absorbent during menstruation. He said that as we know menstrual hygiene is the key to prevent many mild to serious infections like urinary tract, reproductive tract infections, bad odour etc. He said that study revealed in India, that high cost, lack of knowledge and lack of disposal facilities are the major barriers to use them. He said that this is the matter of grave concern and he would put up the matter in the cabinet to avail the sanitary napkin to women irrespective of their age across the rural areas of State.

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