Sanitary napkins to be given for free through Sneha Clinics

Taking forward the National Rural Health Mission’s (NRHM) menstrual hygiene programme, the Health and Family Welfare Department has launched a similar programme for 33 lakh adolescents across the State.

This programme that was approved in the State budget 2013-2014, will be taken up under the Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) programme. Sanitary napkins will be distributed for free through Sneha Clinics to 33 lakh adolescents aged between 10 and 16.

M. Madan Gopal, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, told The Hindu that all girls in government and government-aided schools will be the beneficiaries under the programme.

Mr. Madan Gopal said incinerators would be procured through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme to safely dispose off the used napkins. “The programme is aimed at ensuring that adolescents in rural areas maintain menstrual hygiene. This will also help in checking various infections and diseases in girls,” he added.

NRHM scheme

Parimala S. Maroor, official in-charge of ARSH, Menstrual Hygiene and School Health programmes, explained that the programme was being implemented under NRHM in Bagalkot, Bidar, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Mysore and Raichur districts.

“In these six districts, girls aged between 10 and 19 are being given six sanitary napkins per cycle.

The napkins are supplied to the girls by Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) at a cost of Rs. 6 per packet. The ASHAs will get an incentive of Rs. 1 per packet sold,” Dr. Parimala said.

Generic drugs stores

Meanwhile, the government has also approved the Health Department’s proposal to set up generic drugs stores in every taluk. This would ensure the availability of medicine at subsidised rates in rural areas, said Mr. Madan Gopal.

Pharmacy college

On the occasion of the golden jubilee of the only Government Pharmacy College in Bangalore, the government has decided to set up another pharmacy college in north Karnataka, Mr. Madan Gopal said.