Menstrual hygiene waste
The Government of Nepal and its Ministry of Education have made impressive strides to improve girls access to education in Nepal.
However there is an ironic downside to this positive development. Improving girls access to schools has created a new category of health care waste – menstrual hygiene waste.
In traditional Nepali society there remains a lingering social taboo associated with menstruation.
In many cases pubescent girls whose families can't afford sanitary feminine hygiene pads choose to stop attending school rather than suffer the embarrassment of public menstruation.
To counter this behaviour the Government of Nepal now makes sanitary menstrual hygiene pads available free of charge to all school girls. The impact was dramatic – more girls are attending school! However, suddenly girls toilets are clogging up with disposed sanitary pads.
HECAF has introduced procedures to not only control sanitary pad disposal but has remarkably included mechanisms to recycle much of the waste as well.
More information of this to follow soon...