November 28, 2016
While the corporation has fitted all the 83 schools here with sanitary napkin vending machines, regular sessions on menstrual hygiene for girls are missing.
As a part of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation has installed vending machines in all schools here and also gives folic acid capsules to girls aged between 11 and 16 every Thursday. Deworming capsules are given to students every six months.
Assistant City Health Officer M. Santhosh Kumar said, “All corporation schools have one nodal teacher who is in charge of all the health supplements, like folic acid capsules, and of the sanitary napkin vending machines. Girls can talk to her about any menstrual related question. Usually, students learn about this from parents or friends.
Every corporation school also has sanitary workers who keep toilets clean; there is no problem of water shortage in any corporation schools. All steps are taken to ensure that students stay healthy.”
Talking to Covai Post, an education officer of the Corporation said, “Recently, 21 sanitary napkin vending machines with incinerators were installed after the old vending machine stopped working. As per the RKSK scheme, all corporation school girls are given six packets of sanitary napkins in the year. The vending machines in big corporation schools are refilled every two days.”
Latha Sundaram of Aram Foundation Charitable Trust pointed out that just installing a sanitary napkin vending machine does not tackle the issue of health as most school girls face the problem of water availability and napkin disposal, prompting girl to miss school during this period. “Most girls even hesitate to talk about any menstrual issue they might be facing. So, regular sessions about menstrual hygiene are needed to ensure the overall health of girls,” she said.