To address the need of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls residing primarily in rural areas, Government of India is supporting the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme, under which, funds are provided to States/UTs through National Health Mission for decentralized procurement of sanitary napkins packs for provision primarily to rural adolescent girls at subsidized rates as per proposals received from the States and UTs in their Programme Implementation Plans.
This scheme encompasses the following:
• Increasing awareness among adolescent girls on Menstrual Hygiene
• Improving access to and use of high quality sanitary napkins by adolescent girls in rural areas.
• Ensuring safe disposal of Sanitary Napkins in an environmentally friendly manner.
• Provision of funds to ASHAs to hold monthly meeting with adolescents to discuss issues related to menstrual hygiene.
A range of IEC material has been developed around Menstrual hygiene Scheme, using a 360 degree approach to create awareness among adolescent girls about safe & hygienic menstrual health practices which includes audio, video and reading materials for adolescent girls and job-aids for ASHAs and other field level functionaries for communicating with adolescent girls.
ASHAs across the country are trained and play a significant role in promotion of use and distribution of the sanitary napkins.
Department of Health Research, under the Ministry of Health, is involved in assessment of all newer, alternative, environment friendly menstrual hygiene products to look into their safety and acceptability features.