Let us harmonise menstrual hygiene with caring for the environment

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By Cindy Aketch | May 29, 2023

In our pursuit of sustainable communities, it is essential to recognise the often-overlooked connection between menstrual health and the environment even as we explore climate-friendly and sustainable solutions.

By understanding the challenges faced in our communities and the collective efforts of individuals and organisations worldwide, we can create a future where menstrual health becomes an everyday fact of life while promoting environmental sustainability.

If we shift our perspectives and adopt sustainable practices, we can transform menstrual health management into an avenue for community engagement and environmental stewardship. This shift not only fosters a sense of collective responsibility but also enhances our community's overall well-being.

Challenges arise in menstrual health management, including limited accessibility to affordable and sustainable menstrual products. Embracing reusable and eco-friendly alternatives, such as menstrual cups or reusable menstrual pads, reduces waste and minimises environmental impact. Sustainable options are crucially available and affordable.

Comprehensive menstrual health education empowers individuals to make informed choices and embrace environmentally friendly practices. Integrating environmental awareness into menstrual health curricula fosters a generation that understands sustainable menstruation. This generation takes active steps towards minimising their ecological footprint.

Insufficient access to safe and hygienic facilities poses environmental challenges. Proper sanitation infrastructure, equipped with environmentally friendly waste management systems, promotes menstrual health while minimising local ecosystem impact.

Individuals and organisations worldwide advocate for sustainable menstruation. Embracing reusable menstrual products, promoting recycling initiatives, and supporting eco-friendly menstrual health campaigns reduce waste and conserve resources.

Collaborative partnerships amplify impact through sharing resources, knowledge, and best practices, leading to innovative solutions. Policy advocacy encourages legislation supporting sustainable menstrual practices, such as tax exemptions on reusable products and integrating menstrual health into broader environmental policies.

Addressing accessibility, education, and infrastructure challenges and harnessing global support will create a future where menstrual health becomes an everyday
reality.

These potential impacts require a comprehensive approach that integrates climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies with menstrual health and hygiene initiatives. This will foster greener and more resilient
communities.

Let us harmonise our menstrual health with planet preservation, forging a path toward a sustainable and equitable future for all as we work towards making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030.

The writer is Communication and Advocacy Officer at Kisumu Medical and Education Trust

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