Project ‘3 F & MHM, North Bank’- A programme on Menstrual Hygiene Management & Fungal Disease
APPL Foundation launched Project "3F & MHM, North Bank" across seven APPL estates of North Bank and Misa to provide fungal-free health and a dignified menstrual hygiene practice space at work for the women of these tea estates.
The programme was officially launched on April 21st in the Misa Cluster (Kellyden, Nonoi, and Sagmootea) and on April 25th and 26th in the North Bank Cluster (Nahorani, Lamabari, and Majuli, and Hattigor). A total of 340 beneficiaries were covered during this programme. The formal handover of appointment letters, IEC material on 3F and MHM, beneficiary folders, and sanitary pad boxes to the Sakhis took place during the meeting. Also, sanitary pads were distributed free to all the beneficiaries present at the meeting. Later, to raise awareness about the project, an awareness walk was conducted in each estate by visiting the lines.
Women in Tea communities usually neglect their own health and hygiene needs. 53% of women are unaware of fungal infection and only 30% of infected women seek medical help. The primary cause for this is the use of petticoats or frocks that have not been properly sun dried, allowing fungus to grow and eventually leading to fungal infection in women. They use home remedies like khar (alkali solution), lime, papaya resin, neem leaves, turmeric and other herbal medicines to cure fungal infection. As a result, 48% of women experience recurrences of the disease, which eventually spreads to family members. The preventive activities under this project will focus on creating awareness of fungal disease, providing detergents, and frocks/petticoats. Free ointment and oral medication will be provided as part of the treatment.
Similarly, the SWADHIN or MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) Programme is successfully running in Borhat, Achabam, Nahorkutia, and Namroop Tea Estates. SWADHIN's aims are to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene and make quality, affordable menstrual absorbents available. The women and adolescent girls of the tea estates neglect this aspect and generally use clothes as menstrual absorbents and use sanitary napkins only while going outdoors. 70% of women change menstrual absorbents when these start to overflow. The reasons are the unavailability of low-priced sanitary pads in their locality and preference for cloth over pads. As a result, awareness campaigns are being planned to encourage behavioural changes as well as the use of sanitary pads. The programme's primary goal is to break the taboo on menstruation and fungal disease, as well as to encourage the best menstrual and general hygiene practices.
Project Activities at North Bank Cluster
Project Activities at Misa Cluster