Menstrual Hygiene Day- an exclusive report by Candle Relief International Hargeisa, Somaliland

Menstrual Hygiene Day is yearly responsiveness day on May 28 to acme the prominence of good menstrual hygiene supervision.

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019May 28th, 2019 Somaliland based private NGO CRI [Candle Relief International, Hargeisa] initiated a local campaign in poor hygiene areas like Jameeco Weyn, Calamada, New Hargeisa, according to them, this campaign targeted to help bleeding persons nationwide.

The campaign was appreciated by certain schools. A teen Hamada Nagibe Muse said, “The apparition after MH Day is a sphere in which every woman and girl must able to manage her menstruation in a hygienic way with safety, privacy, and dignity wherever they are.”

28 May was picked for MH day because May is the fifth month of the year, and women’s menstruation period lasts an average of five days. The 28th was chosen because the average menstrual cycle is 28 days.

The following year’s theme of CRI in Hargeisa is “Empowering Women and Girls through Good Menstrual Hygiene”, and the slogan is “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” The quietness and collective stigma contiguous menstruation would only be wrecked when women and girls, along with their families, communities, and support systems are furnished and cultured with accurate gen and fortified to involve in healthy dialogue concerning MH.

A girl named Kalsoom Cabdallahi said, “We feel shy what to do and where to go. We feel strange pains in our body;” In an answered to a question “What do you use to sanitize yourself? She replied, “Unfortunately, we can’t find good hair removal creams. They are very hard to find at some places. Females have no idea from where to get it.”

Somaliland first ever English based News Channel Codka Bariga Afrika [CBA] organized a female show named Herssociate [which highlights female issues in a society] and discussed about “Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene”. The show was hosted by a very talented young lady from Kenya Wangui Ngugi. She tinted a very complex topic in her show and requested Dr. Maryam [also running a private NGO] and a nurse Hobo to discuss a bellicose topic in a society.

In that show, she asked Hibo [her father is a doctor] to speak openly on most commonly observed female issue. She answered a question, “Why does a woman/girl feel shy to prompt them throughout that course of time?”

She said, “95% females feel shy because they don’t have understandable families who gave them confidence to speak out. They need courage because they are psychologically and emotionally disturbed. When they hide it, they feel mental pressure. They need support particularly from their mothers.”

“To tell about menstrual cycle is not stigma we have to break that taboo, we should talk about it hygienically,” she added.

Dr. Maryam said, “People considered it very shameful and secretive topic which should not be highlighted. Female used bed sheets and rags during the bleeding because mostly these hygienic things are sold by man.”

A lady named Hodo Xassan Cabdallai gave interview to us. In her interview she said, “Women mean Haya [respect & dignity] in religion. We are told to cover ourselves properly that no other men are allowed to see women except our own husbands. How can we discuss our personal problems in media?”

In her reply, President of Candle Relief International in Hargeisa Syeda Faiza Bukhari said, “In Qur’an in Surah Nisa [Women] extensively clarifies almost every female problem including menstrual cycle and Hygiene. To talk about female matters doesn’t mean that we bare them,” she further added, “Islam is not a conservative religion. It teaches us how to wash ourselves and remains clean during that particular time. Quran is not only a book of signs but also a book of science.”

Here is the report given by CRI [Candle Relief International],

“Health is wealth” is a famous proverb which high lightened the importance of health that includes menstrual cycle and menstrual hygiene.

Every distinct teenage boys and girls [who is about to enter puberty], their body changes and make them productive is widely known as menstrual cycle.

When the menstrual cycle starts they experience systematic cycling of hormones, according to medical science, “Menstruation is a usual course that females go through as their bodies prepare themselves for possible confinement [pregnancy]. It is a part of the once-a-month menstrual cycle [regular cycling of hormones] that occurs in the female reproductive system.”

It is also termed as periods or bleeding. It is a process in a woman of discharging blood through vaginal and other constituents from the lining of the uterus at about one monthly interval from puberty [12 onwards] until menopause [ceasing the regular menstrual cycles 45-55]. This discharge process lasts 3-5 days. 

During this period of time beside bleeding female experiences headache, acne, bloating, pains in the lower abdomen, tiredness, mood swings, food craving, breast soreness, and diarrhea.

Menstrual hygiene is required to most commonly avoid during the menstrual cycle due to insufficient knowledge, here are few tips;

Regular changing is required:

Once menstrual blood is out of the body, it inclines to get filthy with the intrinsic organisms of the body. This can happen even when she is not bleeding since the sanitary product [if unchanged] is damp. The symptoms of poor menstrual hygiene are:

  1. Rashes and Itching: It has a propensity to have microorganisms from the vagina along with sweat, which has an origin of rashes and itching. 
  2. Urinary tract infection: If these micro-organisms stay long in the moist and warm place, they tend to multiply at an extremely fast rate. This causes vaginal infections, skin rashes and even urinary tract infection. 
  3. Customize sanitary product usage: Women should ideally change in every five hours, if sanitary pad is used. If tampons are used, they should be changed every 2 hours. Women need to customize their sanitary product usage as per their needs. For women who experience heavy flow, they need to change more frequently while other can change in 5 hours’ time. Regular changing is absolutely necessary.

Dr. Amira [Gynacologist at Hargeisa International Hospital] said, “During your periods you should always keep your private parts clean. You need to clean the area in a motion; ensure that you are cleaning the vagina to the anus area and never do in opposite. If you are washing in the opposite direction, you are inviting bacteria from the anus to move into the urethral opening and vagina. This will cause infections, skin rashes and many other problems.”

Sanitation method choose wisely

  1. You may use numeral things to maintain hygiene and stay clean during your periods. There are several sanitary products available which include menstrual cups, tampons and sanitary napkins. 
  2. You should essentially select a product as per your requirement and ease. 
  3. You should recognize that tampons have the lowest rate of absorption. Thus, if you generally have heavy flow, they are not the right products to select. 
  4. Many women prefer to select different types of products on different days of their periods. However, one should remember that it is always good to stick to a single brand since shifting of brands can make you uncomfortable. All brands might not suit you and you need to be aware about this!

Be aware of pad rashes

  1. Pad rashes are generally practiced by women when the flow is heavy. It generally happens if the pad is not changed on time. In such a situation, it tends to rub against the thigh and slight inflammation. 
  2. You have to stay away from the pad rashes and for this, you have to keep yourself dry and clean always. Keep changing your pads whenever you find them too soiled. 
  3. You can also use an antiseptic ointment for relief if you feel the onset of rashes. Just follow the tips and you will be clean and hygienic during the periods, without any additional stress of contracting diseases.

Somaliland first ever English based News Channel Codka Bariga Afrika [CBA] organized a female show named Herssociate [which highlights female issues in a society] and discussed about “Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene”.

The program is meant to talk about female issues.

Candle Relief International

After discussion about Menstrual Hygiene: Students and President of CRI in Hargeisa.

Campaign in Hargeisa, Somalialnd

The visitors named Kalsoom Cabdallahi & Hamda Nagib Muse who talked about Menstrual hygiene of Nomadics.

Students discussing about Personal Hygiene

Women hardly talk about it

A survey report with the cooperation of Dr Cabdallah in Calamada

CRI in New Hargeisa

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