Page 11 - MHM Report-2023
P. 11

The situation at a glance

              63 million adolescent girls in India live in homes without toilet facilities


                                             do not consider
                              50%              as normal*

                              pad / cloth only
              70%               to overflow
                               when it is about

             menstruation dirty*

            untrue, as clean cotton cloth is one of the best   school setup remains limited, hindering the ability
            available absorbents owing to the properties of   to adopt safe MHM practices. Where available,
            high absorption, retention and breathability.     sanitary pads often sell at higher-than-affordable
                The popularity of disposable sanitary pads    price points. In addition, not all women and girls
            has also increased single-use-and-throw behaviour.   in rural and low-income groups have access to
            Many women in the baseline studies reported       appropriate spaces and sufficient water to wash the
            replacing good quality reusable cotton cloth pads   cloth properly or to change and discard disposable
            with other forms of cheap, synthetic cloth to     sanitary pads.
            practice affordable single-use behaviour. These       The lack of access to safe water, sanitation
            materials, however, pose a higher risk of microbial   and hygiene (WaSH) facilities at all times, can
            growth leading to higher risk of reproductive tract   result in girls and women using these products
            infections (RTIs).                                for longer than the prescribed safe duration (see
                                                              Box 5). Another concern could be the need among
            ii)  Affordability and access                     low-income households to minimise their spending
            In rural areas, access to sanitary pads outside the   on sanitary products every month. This is further

              Unhealthy practices

                  Anecdotal evidence from rural Rajasthan suggests that adolescent girls use the same sanitary
                 pad for 12 hours or more on a regular basis.
                  In five districts of Uttar Pradesh*, more than half of the girls and women changed their
        5        menstrual absorbent only once a day or when it was about to overflow.

              *Source: Baseline study commissioned by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

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