Baseline survey on national hygiene unveiled

Menstruation Health Management situation in Bangladesh is very alarming, as 80 per cent girls of the country are habituated with old pieces of cloth during their menstrual period, according to a combined study on national hygiene.

The study has also found only 40 per cent khanas (dwelling areas) have the facilities of hand wash with soap and water after toilet, although most of the inhabitants have claimed they are aware about health manners.

06Policy Support Unit of Local Government Division (LGD) has conducted the “Baseline Survey on National Hygiene” in association with ICDDRB.

In the primary report released today in city’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel has found only toilet against 187 students while there is no separate toilet for doctors and nurses in one fourth cases.

LGD Secretary K M Mozammel Huq unveiled the report as chief guest while Director Generals of Directorate of Primary Education and Directorate of Health Services were present as special guest.

ICDDR,B Deputy Executive Director Dr. Abbas Bhuiyaand Water Aid Bangladesh Country Representative Dr Khairul Islam spoke on the occasion.

International Development Organization Water Aid has provided financial assistance while Stamford University, USA has given technical cooperation for the study.

The study report has been prepared by measuring the health manners of school students in khana levels. In addition, it has also scaled up the rate of the health manners of doctors, nurses, restaurants and menstruation health of girls in national level.

Researchers claimed the survey conducted in Bangladesh is also for the first time among the developing countries.

The report said 40 per cent girls do not go to school on an average for three days during their menstrual period and they re-use the old piece of cloth without washing healthy way as well as dry it properly.

In the 40 per cent khans, it has found that intention of washing hand is very poor even after having soap and water. Besides, 35 per cent schools of the khanas have the facilities of hand wash with soap and water, which has been reflected in the study.

On the other hand, one third restaurants have kept the provision for its workers to wash hand with soap. A poor number of restaurants used to cover up the food while half of the restaurants wash the plate and dish keeping those in the same water repeatedly.

However, in the hospitals, the researchers have found much modern facilities for washing hand. Nearly 90 per cent hospitals have the provision of hand wash system. But, the researchers during their five hours observation in the hospitals witnessed the real hand wash with soap in 2 to 29 per cent cases.

About toilet, the researchers have found most of those were locked. It witnessed only toilet against 187 students, although there is supposed to one toilet against 50 students in nationally.

The development activists attended in the ceremony suggested using the result of the study in both government and non-government activities. They demanded to include the hand wash with soap as the indicator of skillfulness in health sector. They also urged both the government and donors to invest to the campaign for changing manners in national level.