23 Jan 2022, 12:31
Update : 23 Jan 2022, 12:52

School health programme educates Rajshahi rural adolescents about hygiene

   By Dr Aynal Haque

   RAJSHAHI, Jan 23, 2022 (BSS) - A school health programme of the 'Public
Health Improvement Initiative Rajshahi (PHIIR) Project is teaching
adolescents, mostly girls, on reproductive health, nutrition, sanitation and
menstrual hygiene management to inspire them in leading a healthy life.

   Kachari Koaliara High School and Bigacha High School in Bagmara Upazila of
Rajshahi district and Mosidpur High School in Porsha Upazila and Sharando
High School in Sapahar Upazila of Naogaon district initially came under the
counseling and motivational programme of the project.

   Reproductive health, nutrition, sanitation and menstrual hygiene
management are importantly conceptualized for physical and mental development
of adolescents.

   Around 120 adolescents, including 100 girls, were already educated about
their regular healthy life from July to December last year.

  PHIIR project is being implemented in 110 community clinics, 42 Union
Health and Family Welfare Centres and five Upazila Health Complexes in
Rajshahi and Naogaon districts since 2013 to improve health at grassroots
level and, of mother, neonatal and children.

   DASCOH Foundation and Swiss Red Cross jointly are jointly implementing the
project to strengthen maternal, neonatal and child healthcare within the
primary healthcare system.

   Tozammel Haque, Project Manager of PHIIR, told BSS that the adolescents
were taught about physical change, sexual and reproductive health, hygiene
and nutrition for their normal and safe life.

   School students voluntarily participated in the interactive session and
voiced their concerns and dreams for the future, he said.

  Headmasters of the schools and project workers interacted with the students
and listened to their stories, he added.

  Al Mamun, Head Teacher of Moshidpur High School said, the adolescent girls
are being sensitized about menstrual hygiene development.

   He mentioned that menstruation is still treated as a taboo in the rural
areas, with discussions about menstrual health and menstrual hygiene
management (MHM) only happening behind closed doors.

  "I'm very much pleased after participating in the sessions and menstrual
hygiene management sessions were very helpful for our personal life," said
Suma Akter, a student of class eight in Moshidpur High School.

   Susila Parveen, a sixth grader in Sohorondo High School, said she learnt
so many things from the interactive sessions and she enjoyed the whole day.

   Professor Dr Sabina Sultana of the Department of Psychology in Rajshahi
University said adolescence is remarkably a sensitive period for boys and
girls. This is the time when many of them commit mistakes due to curiosity
and ignorance.

   Changes in their body structure and hormonal activity surprise them as due
to lack of proper guidance and suggestions from their near and dear ones
especially mothers the adolescents can face many problems, she said.

   She, however, attributed that the School Health Program will lead the
adolescents to a right direction.

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