BMC to install sanitary napkin vending machines in maternity hospitals
In a pilot project, they will first be installed in five of its maternity hospitals, in an attempt to encourage women to use them
Each of the hospitals will get one sanitary napkin vending machine. Pic/Thinkstock
For the first time in the city, the BMC health department will install sanitary pad vending machines, in five of its maternity hospitals. A tender regarding this has been passed and the installation will be completed by the end of February.
The five maternity hospitals include Malad Mother and Child Hospital, Marol Maternity Hospital, Anandibai Joshi Hospital at Sakinaka and one each at Oshiwara and Bhandup. The installation is an attempt to encourage women to use sanitary pads for hygiene and better health.
To encourage women
Each hospital will get one machine. "The user will have to insert Rs 5 in the vending machine for a pad," said a senior officer from the BMC health department. "We are starting this on a pilot basis. If it becomes successful, the scheme will be initiated in other maternity and tertiary-level hospitals," said the officer. Dr Padmaja Kesker, BMC health officer confirmed the development.
Health rights activists welcomed the move stating it will encourage women to use sanitary pads. Dr Ravikant Singh, a health activist working for women's rights in tribal areas, said, "After delivery, a new mother bleeds for several days. She has to use sanitary pads during the period. But we have often seen that mothers use cloth or cheap handmade pads which lead to infections. This leads to several health complications and even death. BMC needs to take the same initiative in all hospitals."
Doctors say that not maintaining hygiene during periods can also lead to several health complications. "Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to fungal infections and urinary tract infections which can also cause cervical cancer. The use of a sanitary pad can help a woman save herself from these health complications," said Dr Ganesh Shinde, dean and gynaecologist at Cooper hospital.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16 report shows that the use of sanitary napkins among Indian women is 48.5 per cent in rural areas, and 77.5 per cent in urban areas.
Pad disposal machines
KEM Hospital is to install sanitary pad disposal machines on campus. "There is a proposal to install pad disposal machines on the hospital premises which will help in scientific disposal of the pads. Our engineering department is working on it," said Dr Avinash Supe, director.
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