Senora’s Freshwater Tanks & “Nora Apa”: Ensuring Period Hygiene in the Coastal regions of Satkhira

Water salinity is rising in Bangladesh’s coastal regions as a result of rising sea levels brought on by climate change and shrimp farming, and the problem is getting worse over time. Author Jesmin Papri detailed such instances of women and teenage girls turning to contraceptive pills to escape the problems of using salty water during periods in a piece by Mongabay titled “For women on Bangladesh’s coast: Rising seas pose a reproductive health dilemma.”

Salinity is connected to a variety of health issues, including persistent infections and female skin issues. Uterine illnesses, which are especially frequent in regions with a lot of saline water, can result from these infections. Women’s reproductive health is greatly endangered by the lack of access to clean water and the lack of sanitary napkins, especially in coastal regions like Koikhali and Satkhira, where there are only a few ponds and most of the water is saline.

Even though there are several establishments that offer sanitary napkins, a cultural barrier frequently prevents women from going there and making their own purchases. Square Toiletries, one of the nation’s top sanitary napkin manufacturers, made some efforts to assist Koikhali’s female population through their sanitary napkin brand “Senora”. To conserve rainwater for women to use for menstruation hygiene, Senora constructed 12 water tanks spread over six places throughout the union.

Senora also organised seven “Uthan Baithak” (community gatherings) with Koikhali’s ladies in order to spread knowledge about period hygiene, and they gave more than 300 young women free sanitary products enough to last them for three months.
Additionally, by holding these sessions, it educated two local women to serve as “Nora Apa”— a friendly neighboring consultant who gives out free Senora napkins to the ladies and whom they can contact for basic period guidance if necessary.

They initially merely intended to observe what the situation was like in Koikhali and what kind of support they might offer there, according to Tehsina Khanom, assistant manager and Senora spokeswoman, Marketing Department, Square Toiletries Limited. “We became really concerned when we learned that a natural occurrence like menstruation was being suppressed by drugs.” Ms. Khanom stated.

They decided they needed to act right away when they realised the situation was considerably worse in person than they had anticipated. Assisting 300 women might also mean helping 300 families, according to Mir Monirul Hossan, a Senior Executive of Marketing Development for Square Toiletries Ltd. “We try to explain to people that they can keep their moms and daughters healthy if they make sure they use clean water when they are menstruating,” he said.

Source: The Business Standard 

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