Menstrual Health and Hygiene among Lodha Tribes in West Bengal, India: A Study Based on Perception and Practice

Menstruation is a normal physiological phenomenon unique to females. However, menstrual practices are surrounded by lots of taboos and myths which lead to adverse health problems. Primitive Groups of Tribes (pgts) like the Lodha community are one of the most underprivileged communities. The purpose of the study is to understand the perception and practices related to menstrual health and hygiene among Lodha tribes. A cross-sectional study data has been collected randomly from 50 adults Lodha women of reproductive age group (18-49 years) in Jhargram district of West Bengal with the help of a structured interview schedule. The data revealed that the perception of menstruation was very poor among the Lodhas. Menstrual hygienic practices were dissatisfying among those older than younger. Young Lodha females followed more hygienic methods than elders. 66% had the perception that reusable clothes cannot cause any health problems and 88% habituated to using unhygienic reusable clothes. Almost 40% of women did not receive any health service to manage menstrual complications. Effective public health communication along with proper preventive and curative health care services can improve the health perception and behaviour among these pvtgs.