Menstrual hygiene management is essential for women and girls in displacement camps in Rakhine State.

Published: May 27, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
Menstrual hygiene management is essential for women and girls in displacement camps in Rakhine State.
© Sone AyePyae

Historically, women and girls in rural Rakine State, Myanmar, had little to no knowledge of reproductive and menstrual health and hygiene practices. During menstruation, many women used pieces of cloth as sanitary pads and would feel uncomfortable when leaving their homes for work or school.

Awareness session on menstrual hygiene management

To improve personal and menstrual hygiene management, People in Need (PIN) provides Menstrual Hygiene Management awareness sessions to girls and women in the internal displacement sites in Rakhine State. PIN shares knowledge on managing the menstrual cycle safely and with dignity. PIN also shares best practices for sanitary waste disposal.

Ma Oo Khine Htay, an 18-year-old living in Pu Zun Hpe IDP site in Mrauk U township, shares her menstrual health experience, “I was happy to receive menstrual pads and female underwear from PIN and other hygiene materials. I use sanitary pads and change them every 4 hours each day. I gained useful knowledge from PIN’s awareness session about how personal hygiene is important during menstruation because it can cause infectious diseases. I also follow the waste management as it is not easy to dispose of menstrual products.”

Like Ma Oo Khine Htay, Ma Htay Htay Thein, a 26-year-old mother of a five-year-old girl living in the Pyar Hla IDP site in Mrauk U township, explains, “I am living here over two years now. In the previous time, I used reusable cloth pads and washed them again and again. I felt uncomfortable when I worked and went outside during menstruation time. Now I can use sanitary pads provided by PIN and know the full knowledge on how to change and how to dispose of the menstrual products properly.”   

Ma Than Than Htay, who lives in the Pe Pin Yin IDP site in Mrauk U township, says, “I could not afford to buy sanitary pads when I arrived at the camp in 2019. I thank PIN, PIN has provided many of us with essential hygiene items such as sanitary pads, soap, soap powder, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, face cloth masks, female underwear, and other essential items for our household use. All of them are useful for us who live in the IDP sites.”

In January 2022, PIN provided personal hygiene kits to 1,643 households, reaching approximately 6,900 people in 11 internal displacement sites in Mrauk U and Minbya townships, Rakhine State, Myanmar. This distribution was undertaken with support from the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund (MHF) and  UNICEF. Hygiene refill kits are provided regularly to ensure ongoing hygiene support in the displacement sites.  

Author: Sone AyePyae

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