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South Asia

What has worked for Bangladesh?

Over the past two decades Bangladesh has achieved significant successes around national sanitation coverage, through increased latrine access and sanitation education campaigns, which has resulted in a large part of the country’s population shifting away from open defecation to using household concrete-lined pit latrines.  In this post I provide an outline of changes in the sanitation situation in nine Bangladesh unions, mostly rural areas, over a period of five or more years, drawn from a recently published report from Plan Alternatives for Change LLC, ‘

Is Bollywood’s Pad Man movie too good to be true?

A Bollywood movie about inventor Arunachalam Muruganantham (aka Pad Man) who created a revolutionary machine that makes cheap sanitary pads hit Indian screens in February. He has won high priase for providing cheap sanitary towels for women in poor communities and for challenging taboos surrounding menstruation in socially conservative India.

But is he too good to be true?

‘We do not know’: a qualitative study exploring boys’ perceptions of menstruation in India

This study explores knowledge and attitudes about menstruation among adolescent boys across India, in order to gauge their potential to support young women. The findings show some optimism in these young men becoming advocates and moving forward the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) agenda. The boys were keen for knowledge about menstruation, searching information out despite societal norms, they were also largely sympathetic to menstruating sisters and classmates and understanding of the issues surrounding the need for good MHM.

 

 

Date: 7 March 2018
Country: 

Effects of water quality, sanitation, handwashing, and nutritional interventions on diarrhoea and child growth in rural Bangladesh: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Diarrhoea and growth faltering in early childhood are associated with subsequent adverse outcomes. This trial aimed to assess whether water quality, sanitation, and handwashing interventions alone or combined with nutrition interventions reduced diarrhoea or growth faltering. Overall the trial found that nutrient counselling and supplementation modestly improved linear growth, but that there was no benefit to the integration of water, sanitation, and handwashing with nutrition.

Date: 26 February 2018
Country: 

Sanitation boosts health, not stunted growth for Bangladeshi kids

Children born into housing compounds with improvements in drinking water quality, sanitation, and handwashing infrastructure were not measurably taller after two years compared to those born into compounds with more contamination, a new study suggests. Although children who received the interventions were significantly healthier overall, and despite mounting research over the last decade linking poor sanitation to stunted growth in children, sanitation improvements seemingly did nothing to improve growth and development.

Pad Man: Bollywood's 'menstrual man' movie targets Indian taboo

A Bollywood movie about an inventor who created a revolutionary machine that makes cheap sanitary pads hit Indian screens this month, challenging taboos surrounding menstruation in socially conservative India. Arunachalam Muruganantham is nicknamed India's "menstrual man" for transforming the lives of poor women forced to use items like old rags, sand and leaves during their periods. He has been lauded by India's government and is now getting the star treatment with Bollywood A-lister Akshay Kumar portraying him in "Pad Man", which was released on 9th February 2018.

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