Menstrual Health and Hygiene (SSA)


If girls and women are to live healthy and productive lives, with dignity, menstrual hygieneis a priority.In many areas, there is complete neglect of menstrual hygiene due to low awareness levels and lack of access to sanitary products. This programme for promotion of Menstrual Hygiene combines health education for adolescent girls, providing a regular supply of sanitary napkins and enabling other sanitation measures such as access to water and toilets in schools and in the community through convergence with other programmes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the lack of access to menstrual hygiene (which includes sanitary napkins, toilets in schools, availability of water, privacy and safe disposal) could constrain school attendance and possibly contribute to local infections during this period. Therefore, creating awareness and increasing access to the requisite sanitary infrastructure related to menstrual hygiene is important.

Objectives of the Programme

The programme will be focused specially in rural areas with the following objectives: To increase awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene, build self-esteem, and empower girls for greater socialization To increase access to and use of high quality sanitary napkins by adolescent girls in rural areas.To ensure safe disposal of sanitary napkins in an environment friendly manner.

Target Group

This programme will be targeted at adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years, residing in rural areas, to ensure that they have adequate knowledge and information about the use of sanitary napkins, that high quality safe products are made available to them, and that environmentally safe disposal mechanisms are readily accessible.

Components of the Programme

The various components of the programme and its operational steps are outlined below:

  1. Community-based health education and outreach in the target population to promote menstrual health
    • Outreach through ASHA/other community mechanisms
    • Outreach through schools
  2. Ensuring regular availability of sanitary napkins to the adolescents
    • In the community
    • In the school
  3. Sourcing and procurement of sanitary napkins
  4. Training of ASHA in menstrual hygiene
  5. Behaviour Change Communication
  6. Safe disposal of sanitary napkins
  7. Monitoring and Supervision