8th March 2019, District Hospital, Tamenglong, Manipur: Tamenglong district in Manipur(India) is a focus district of Breaking the Silence, a campaign that raises awareness on menstrual hygiene in rural and isolated parts of India and in other countries. We led a deep dive outreach, sensitization and advocacy effort in 2018 in Tamenglong and many government departments were sensitized on menstrual hygiene including the Health Department and District Hospital.
The outcome is the development of interest, capacity and resolve demonstrated by the health department of Tamenglong district under the leadership of Dr. Chambo Gonmei the Chief Medical Officer.
International Women's Day with a theme "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change" was organised at the District Hospital, Tamenglong by the District Health Society on 8th March 2019 targeting mainly adolescent girls of government schools. Mr. Ajin Thaimei, EE, PHED, Tamenglong was the Chief Guest and Dr. Chambo Gonmei, CMO, Tml as the President of the Function. More than 240 girls from Gaidailong Primary School, JNV and MV High school including Medical Officers, Nurses, ASHA Facilitators, ASHAs, other paramedical staff and attendants were present.
The organizers and departments involved say their work is motivated by Urmila Chanam and "Breaking the Silence" which introduced to them this aspect of women and girl's health and well being.Menstrual Hygiene and how to maintain clean healthy lifestyle and do away with all kinds of tribal taboos were emphasized. Under the flagship programme of NHM Adolescent Friendly Health Clinic (RKSK) is opened from once a week to daily except on Sundays and Holidays. Under Maternal Health PMSMA is carried out on 9th of every month.
During the programme Free sanitary pads were distributed to the student girls and participants (who have reached puberty). It was an eye opening for all. The District Health Society Tamenglong will be organising "Menstrual Hygiene" on 28th May 2019 in a bigger way and to observe in all the PHCs and PHSCs of the district.
"Next time we will try our best to reach out to the remote areas where poor people are ignorant about maternal care and menstrual under the campaign banner Breaking the Silence", Dr, Chamo Gonmei informed.
The major goal of Breaking the Silence is to ‘inform and inspire’ the government at different levels federal, state, district and local government level to implement comprehensive programs on menstrual hygiene management and this has begun in Tamenglong district. Breaking the Silence and District Health Department are constantly in touch, in consultation and planning for joint programs in the near future.