Inadequate hygiene interventions, including knowledge gaps and taboos, expose adolescents to health hazards, notably impacting areas like menstrual hygiene management (MHM). Acknowledging the urgency to confront these challenges, ITN-BUET and House of Volunteers (HOV) Foundation organized a session titled “Adolescent Awareness on Hygiene and Menstrual Hygiene Management” with the support of UNICEF. The session took place on 16th September 2023 at the ITN-BUET seminar room.

The session’s core objective was to instill and reinforce crucial hygiene practices encompassing hand hygiene, personal cleanliness, safe sanitation, and challenges related to MHM among students.

Active participation from 83 youths, encompassing both girls and boys of classes 6-10 from various national and subnational level schools in Bangladesh, was the highlight of the event. The distinguished guests, Ms. Dilruba Farzana, Executive Engineer from the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), and Mr. Alauddin Ahmed, Project Manager at ITN-BUET, graced the significant occasion.

Mr. Sanjay Mukherjee, Social Development Expert, CWIS-FSM Support Cell at the Department of Public Health Engineering, facilitated the first part of the session, shedding light on hygiene-related diseases resulting from unhygienic practices. Mr. S M Tariquzzaman, Program Supervisor for WASH, HOV, and Managing Director, Edifice Group, led the discussion on menstrual hygiene management. He explored the significance of educating both genders on menstruation, offering valuable insights into the physiological aspects, various menstrual products, and dispelling common myths and superstitions associated with this natural process.

Students engaged in a group activity guided by posters, identifying hygiene-related issues and specifically delving into menstrual hygiene management. They collectively brainstormed solutions pertinent to family, school, and broader society, focusing on enhancing menstrual hygiene practices within the societal structure.

The event also highlighted the commitment of ITN-BUET and HOV to menstrual hygiene through different initiatives. The programs include organizing awareness sessions involving WASH stakeholders and conducting Knowledge-sharing sessions in four schools to provide comprehensive information on menstrual hygiene management. Additionally, ongoing engagement was established with two schools from the previous program to ensure sustained impact and involvement.

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