60 girls from city slums get reproductive health lesson

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Bhubaneswar: As many as 60 young adolescent girls from selected slums under the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) took part in a two-day orientation programme on reproductive health.

The event was organised at Odisha Farm Machinery Research and Development Centre (OFMRDC) in the city.

The program was an attempt to create awareness amongst the participants on issues of sexual reproductive health and adolescent health issues. Dr Ritanjali Mishra, who is also the secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Odisha Chapter (Women’s Wing) and is currently associated with Unit IV, Government Hospital as Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialist, was the resource person for the program.

She talked about the daily lifestyle changes that one needs to make to their day to day life to lead a healthy life. She talked about menstrual health and hygiene issues, anaemia amongst young women and girls, food habits that can help address the same.

The programme created a unique opportunity for girls from slums to raise their issues and discuss their health problems with the doctor. Some of the queries that came from the side of participants included symptoms of anaemia, what is the normal duration of bleeding during menstruation, care to be taken during menstruation, the cause of pain and discomfort faced during periods and when should one reach out to the doctor for help.

The participants were also made aware of the various health provisions and ongoing schemes including Urban Health and Nutrition Day (Mamta Divas) observed at Anganwadi centres, provisions of immunization, support for pregnant and young children etc. Also, they were told about schemes like Niramaya, Nidaan, Sahaya, Sampoorna, free ambulance service, support for mental illness, and availability of specialist services in health centres etc.

The participants expressed happiness over being a part of the program and said that such programs will not only help to create awareness on health issues amongst them but they can take their learning to their family and friends. They felt that there is a need for regular interaction with specialist because there are many health issues of girls and women which are either neglected and hence suffer in long run.

Bijay Swain, General Manager (Operations), BSCL, youth and gender specialist, team of Humara Bachpan Trust, which is the implementing partner for the social initiatives being undertaken at community-level were present in the programme.

The programme is a part of the collaborative initiative of BSCL and United Nations Population Fund to strengthen the social components of the Smart City Project. Various programs are being undertaken in the BTCD or the Smart District area under the area based development component of the project.

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