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Mixed method approach for determining use, effectiveness, and technical soundness of the sanitary pad incinerators in the schools of Nepalgunj submetropolitan city

Kamal Baral, Grish Paudel, Preeti Gautam, Shreelata Rana, Resham Khadka, Ramesh Prasad Bajgai, Ravi Kumar Pathak.

Background: Menstrual hygiene management is a challenging agenda in developing nations like Nepal. Incinerators have been installed in schools for managing the menstrual hygiene.

Objective: This study was conducted to determine the use, effectiveness, and technical soundness of the sanitary pad incinerators installed in various schools of Nepalgunj submetropolitan city of Nepal.

Materials and Methods: A mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods was conducted in Nepalgunj, Nepal. Entire incinerator attached school (17 schools) of Nepalgunj was technically assessed and schools’ principals were interviewed for obtaining quantitative information while six focus group discussion among the school girls and female teachers; 6 in-depth interviews with incinerator’s caretaker for the qualitative information. Quantitative data were analyzed using the SPSS version 20.0, and inductive thematic analysis was adopted to analyze the qualitative data.

Results: Of total, 13 schools were Government schools, 3 Government supported Madrasas, and 1 private Madrasa school. All (17) schools followed the District Education Office (DEO) guidelines while installing the incinerator. However, none of the school’s incinerator met the standard guideline of the DEO both in terms of components and their measurement. The qualitative finding shows that participants have appreciated the incinerator provision for disposing their soaked sanitary products during the menstruation at school.

Conclusions: Incinerators should be promoted together with washing facilities inside girls’ toilet for effective disposal of sanitary products at school. This study’s finding suggests to install technically sound and user-friendly incinerators in schools for managing the menstrual hygiene.

Key words: Incinerator; Menstrual Hygiene Management; Sanitary Pad Provision

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