National Consultations on Menstrual Hygiene Management
– A milestone event in Delhi
The true importance of adolescent health for girls well-being, empowerment and for the future of India can not be stressed enough in a country with 1,2 chore adolescent girls. But unfortunately poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a leading cause for girl’s school drop out in India.
With national MHM guideline released in 2015, and several programmes by different ministries and agencies, convergence is required, The national consultation on MHM was aimed at exactly that and together define a strategy for MHM moving forward.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) , and strongly supported by UNICEF India, the national consultation on MHM was held on 28. September 2016 in New Delhi. The event brought together high-level representatives from different line ministries, such as Ministry of Health, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, (WCD, and MoRD) , as well key State representatives from different departments, MHM champions from districts, as well selected NGO partners.
“The issue needs immediate attention” said Secretary, IAS, MHRD, GOI . Mr. Shri S.C.Khuntia in his opening remarks. And he envisaged that the outcome of the meeting should be a strategy for MHM in schools.
To develop this strategy, National Government, UNICEF, WHO, CDC and WASH United, as well leading state and district representatives shared their findings, experiences and commitments to ensure good MHM. In the afternoon all participants contributed to define the MHM package and provide insights into administrative steps that can be taken.
It was fully agreed that good MHM for girls and women includes a comprehensive package of adequate infrastructure, access to and disposal of hygienic absorbents, as well girls and teachers and family members having adequate awareness and knowledge.
This event was truly historic as hardly before such a diverse range of different government departments coming together to speak about the issue of menstruation with firm conviction that MHM has to be addressed.
What I look forward to, is to all work together to have guidelines which schools can follow, that are doable and actionable.
If you give the right knowledge to girls –they can take the right step. And this has to start in schools. If we train our teachers we do huge service to girls.