Menstrual Hygiene

June 3, 2019

Menstrual Hygiene Day was celebrated on 28th May.  Girls have been known to miss school because they cannot afford sanitary towels. The use of old clothes, wearing of multiple underwear, cotton wool, and the use of toilet paper has been the trend with girls and women who do not have access to sanitary towels. Most of the girls we talked with in the village said they missed school every time they had their period- that means 5-7 days every month. That is too much time for a student to lose. Catching up with school work becomes hard. Many brands of sanitary towels have been introduced in the market with different prices depending on one’s capability. The most common products in the market are disposable sanitary pads, tampons, and the moon cup. Washable sanitary pads have also been introduced in the market for those who cannot afford to buy sanitary pads on a monthly basis.

It is important for a girl to understand her flow, so she can choose the best product for her personal use. Tampons are known to have the lowest rate of absorption, so if one has a heavy flow, tampons may not be the right product. Some girls tend to select different types of products on different months of their periods. It is, however, good to stick to a single brand since shifting of brands can make one uncomfortable. All brands might not suit everyone, so it is good to know what works best for each individual.

Menstrual hygiene is important if one is to avoid pad rashes. This is experienced mostly by girls and women who have heavy flow and do not change the sanitary towel as often as they should. The sanitary towel when wet tends to rub against the thighs which brings in redness, itching, and slight inflammation.

Proper disposal of the used sanitary pads cannot be over-emphasized. The environment is really suffering due to the large amounts of sanitary towels that end up in drainages thus causing blockage. The pads need to be burned using an incinerator, disposed of in pit latrines, or placed in buckets that have proper lids which can later be picked up and hygienically disposed. It would be helpful if the government and/or learning institutions installed vending machines in the schools where a girl can access the pads if an emergency occurs there.


The government has made tremendous efforts to see that the price of sanitary towels has been reduced.

We discussed menstrual hygiene at the Choice Club meetings this past week. The girls agreed to donate any excess sanitary pads they may have to those girls amongst them that lack.

The counseling sessions went very well at all the schools. The counselors talked to the girls as a whole, then had private sessions with those that had more serious personal issues. The school authorities appreciated the support from Valvisions Foundation for providing the counseling sessions which were badly needed. We will receive the written reports from the counselors in due time.

The Valvisions Scholars are doing well at the teaching practices. They have been very busy, so we didn’t manage to see them last week. We look forward to seeing them this week.

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