Management of menstrual hygiene, practices and perceptions among vulnerable Bharia women in Madhya Pradesh: A pilot survey

Authors : Dinesh Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Poonam Vaiyam, Poonam Vaiyam, Ravikanta Singh Thakur, Ravikanta Singh Thakur

DOI : 10.18231/j.jchm.2021.038

Volume : 8

Issue : 4

Year : 2021

Page No : 169-175

Background: India has the highest proportion of adolescents and the highest adolescent pregnancy and childbirth rate in the tribal segment of the population. Very few studies have focused on the use of sanitary pad and quality of health care as menstrual hygiene practices.
Materials and Methods: The data was collected among ‘Bharia’ women who identified as one of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) in Madhya Pradesh. Towards comparing the use, source, and components of menstrual hygiene practices among adolescents and adult mothers, the sample included adolescent (10-19 years) and adult women 20-49 years of age. The relevant information was collected by trained female investigator with designed questionnaire from the respondents.
Results: Findings revealed that only 22.7% women are using sanitary pad during menstruation period in the studied tribe. It was seen the use of this absorbent (sanitary pad) for menstrual hygiene among the adolescents were found significantly higher (37.5%) than that of adult women (14.3%), whereas, the use of old cotton was found significantly higher (78.6%) among adult women. Awareness on menstrual hygiene about 50% adolescents and 64% adult women believed it is a curse of God. About 25% adolescents and 21.4% adult women believed menstruation is a natural process.
Conclusion: The tribe has underprivileged menstrual hygiene practices owing to low awareness, illiteracy, and poverty. The special IEC education campaign with suitable strategy can be forced to optimum hygiene practices.

Keywords: Menstrual hygiene, Adolescent, Adult women, Bharia tribe, Patalkot valley

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