MENSTRUAL HYGIENE PRACTICES AND RTI AMONG EVER-MARRIED WOMEN IN RURAL SLUM
Background:Considering huge burden of RTI across community based study settings- either iatrogenic or endogenous and not necessarily sexually transmitted, menstrual hygiene practices by reproductive age group women have documented evidence of being a key determinant/ predictor of RTI and bear causal association with key Socio-demographic attributes. This is more so in view of vulnerability to health risk, access to treatment and reduced economical choice for a marginal & disadvantaged population like the ‘in-migrants/itinerants. Objectives: 1. To study menstrual hygiene practices of ever-married ‘in-migrant’ women from Dehradun as a key determinant of reproductive health needs. 2. To establish causal association between menstrual hygiene practices and (i) key socio-demographic attributes & (ii) RTI. Methodology: An observational (cross-sectional) study was designed with a probability sample from 5033 ever-married women from 06 ‘make-shift settlements’/slums along immediate precincts i.e 50 meters into the mainland from the banks of rivers ‘Chandrabhaga’, ‘Ganga’, ‘Song’ and ‘Rispana’- all in the district of Dehradun. Result& Conclusion: The present study findings revealed that as key determinant of reproductive health needs, menstrual hygiene practices of the study population bore significant statistical association with their (i) literacy status or education (ii) religion (iii) key reproductive tract infection symptoms and (iv) socio-economic status. The findings reinforced the felt need to address knowledge, attitude and practices of the disadvantaged study population by appropriate behaviour change communication, build community & provider capacity and strategies to deliver services at such resource - poor setting keeping in view the four A’s of primary health care.