68% rural women can''t afford sanitary napkins: Survey

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Mumbai, Feb 27 (PTI) Almost 68 per cent rural womencannot afford sanitary napkins available in the market today,according to a survey.

The survey, carried out by leading global informationand measurement company AC Nielsen, and reviewed and endorsedby NGO Plan India, reveals the dismal state of femininehygiene care in India.

According to gynaecologists, the use of alternativesanitary care measures such as unsterilised cloths, sand andash make women susceptible to infections and diseases.

The study found that awareness on the basic health andfeminine hygiene is very low, with 75 per cent rural womenlacking adequate knowledge on menstrual hygiene and care.

On the issue of affordability of good quality sanitarycare, it found 81 per cent rural women use unsterilised clothssince they are cheaper and 68 per cent said they cannot affordto buy sanitary napkins available in the market.

Adolescent girls in rural India are unable to attendup to 50 days of schooling in a year due to inadequatemenstrual care, it said.

The survey was conducted in October with theparticipation of 1,033 rural women in the menstrual age groupand 151 gynaecologists from different parts of India.

Altogether 97 per cent gynaecologists surveyed believethat sanitary napkins can act as a preventive measure againstreproductive tract infection.

The survey said among the adolescent rural girls, 23per cent (aged 12-18 years) discontinue studies due toinadequate sanitary facilities in schools. .

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