Mr. Anisur Rahman, District Commissioner (DC) of Gazipur, recently inaugurated a vending machine and sanitary napkin disposal system at Mudafa Haji Sayed Ali High School in Ward-52 under Gazipur City Corporation. CARE Bangladesh and the School authority jointly organized the event. The DC of Gazipur observed the process of using the vending machine and CARE-made Sanitary Napkin Disposal System (SNDS). The sanitary napkin vending machines have been installed in collaboration with technical support from Vertical Innovation Ltd. Later, he attended a discussion session with Panel Mayor, the School Management Committee (SMC), CARE representatives, and students from different classes. He acknowledged and appreciated CARE Bangladesh’s initiatives, especially at the school level. The sanitary napkin vending machine and the SNDS have significantly contributed to improving adolescent health and personal hygiene. A prepaid card will be distributed to the students in the schools, allowing them to get sanitary napkins at a low cost. A school teacher will act as the focal for overall monitoring and proper maintenance and hygiene of the SNDS. The school will also assign a person to clean the SNDS every week by burning the dumped napkins in an incinerator.
The DC also committed to scaling up these two initiatives in other schools. Moreover, he also visited the nearby Wellbeing Center established by CARE Bangladesh and observed how the Wellbeing Centre Supervisor provides health services via video call.
Md. Zinnat Ali, Head Teacher of Mudafa High School, chaired the inauguration event in the presence of the Chief Guest Mr. Anisur Rahman, DC Gazipur, Special Guest Mr. Abdul Alim Molla, Commissioner and Panel Mayor, and Keya Sharmin, Reserved Female Councilor of Ward- 52, 53, and 54. Mr. Mohammad Hafijul Islam, Sr. Technical Coordinator (Team Lead), Urban Health, Monisha Mafruha, Technical Coordinator, and Alauddin Hossain, Project Officer, joined from CARE Bangladesh.
The DC mentioned in his speech, “At present, CARE Bangladesh has set up seven sanitary napkin vending machines, but if we work together with CARE, then we can make plans to implement these interventions in other schools at Gazipur. As a District Commissioner of Gazipur, I will extend my support to scale up for establishing these systems all over Gazipur. I believe that establishing sanitary napkin vending machines and sanitary napkin disposal systems at the schools must improve adolescent health and thus reduce absenteeism. I hope these adolescent girls will grow up healthy and sit in my chair in the future.”
Mr. Abdul Alim Molla, Panel Mayor, said, “CARE Bangladesh has been extending their support in Ward-52 for ensuring healthier lives for the marginalized urban people, and these initiatives are beneficial for adolescents’ health and development.”
“Every day, I used to get 4 to 5 leave applications from girls in my school. The reason for leaving was mostly menstruation and lower abdominal pain. By establishing these interventions in collaboration with CARE Bangladesh, I hope student absenteeism will be reduced,” expressed Zinnat Ali, Head Teacher of Mudafa Haji Sayed Ali High School.
Shanjida Afrin, a Student of Class 10, mentioned, “We all are thankful to DC for coming to our school. I also thank CARE Bangladesh for taking these initiatives to improve our health and personal hygiene.”
CARE Bangladesh has installed seven sanitary napkin vending machines at six schools in the Gazipur city corporation and one urban primary health center under the Urban Health projects. CARE Bangladesh also trained ten focal teachers from 10 schools who are conducting health education sessions at schools on adolescent health, personal hygiene, nutrition, and COVID-19.
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