Seminar on Menstrual *Health & Hygiene organised by Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, The Aga Khan University.

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KARACHI : Maternal and child health in Pakistan has received considerable attention in the last couple of decades. However, health and hygiene related to menstruation has not been an explicit focus of reproductive health programs and policies. AKU’s intervention on Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management is an effort to break the silence around menstruation and bring this important public health issue into the public eye. The challenges related to menstruation that girls and women face aren’t merely due to a lack of access or infrastructure; they are deeply rooted in social and cultural norms and beliefs. Menstruation is seen as an inherently private matter which limits any conversation around it. This silence around menstruation has immense ramifications on the health and dignity of girls and women, particularly those belonging to the lowest socioeconomic strata, whose needs go unspoken and unaddressed. Poor hygiene and lack of support restricts the social mobility of these girls and women, further perpetuating gender inequality. Promoting menstrual health and hygiene is, therefore, an important step towards safeguarding the dignity, bodily integrity and overall life opportunities of women and girls. These views were expressed by scholars and experts speaking at a seminar on ‘Seminar Menstrual Health & Hygiene – a neglected agenda!’. organised by the Aga Khan University’s Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health in collaboration with Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Aga Khan University, Paediatrics and Child Health, Aga Khan University, & Department of Continuing Professional Education, Aga Khan University. Dr. Sidrah Nausheen, Assistant Professor Obstetrics & Gynecology, Aga Khan University described that about 25,000 adolescent girls and women were provided knowledge and information through awareness group sessions. During these sessions we provided them information and moderated discussions on menstruation, menstrual cycle, importance and ways of hygiene management and we particularly focused on dispelling myths and misconceptions.

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