For the first time in the city of dreams, Mumbai, the BMC health department will install sanitary pad vending machines, in five of its maternity hospitals. A tender regarding this has been passed and the installation will be completed by the end of February. The five maternity hospitals include Malad Mother and Child Hospital, Marol Maternity Hospital, Anandibai Joshi Hospital at Sakinaka and one each at Oshiwara and Bhandup. The installation is an attempt to encourage women to use sanitary pads for hygiene and better health.
Rohini Kamble, chairman, BMC health committee said, “From the perspective of women’s health, the proposal for installing sanitary napkin vending machines in the BMC hospital toilets was put forth. But, the work of the installation of these machines has not begun. The health committee has sent the proposal to the municipal commissioner.” Each hospital will get one machine and the user will have to insert Rs 5 in the vending machine for a pad.
Health rights activists welcomed the move stating it will encourage women to use sanitary pads. Doctors say that not maintaining hygiene during periods can also lead to several health complications. “Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to fungal infections and urinary tract infections which can also cause cervical cancer. The use of a sanitary pad can help a woman save herself from these health complications,” said Dr. Ganesh Shinde, dean, and gynecologist at Cooper hospital.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16 report shows that the use of sanitary napkins among Indian women is 48.5 percent in rural areas, and 77.5 percent in urban areas. Dr. Khan said, “There is no facility to discard the sanitary napkins in the municipal hospitals. Women tend to flush the pads and napkins, which get stuck in the drainage pipe. Keeping women’s health in mind, a demand was raised to install sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators in the BMC hospitals and its toilets.”
Health rights activists welcomed the move stating it will encourage women to use sanitary pads. Doctors say that not maintaining hygiene during periods can also lead to several health complications. "Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to fungal infections and urinary tract infections which can also cause cervical cancer. The use of a sanitary pad can help a woman save herself from these health complications," said Dr. Ganesh Shinde, dean, and gynecologist at Cooper hospital.
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