By Barbara Atieno
Women at maturity stage receive their monthly periods every month. There is no exemption for the internally displaced women who face this period harshly.
It is widely known that life in the refugee camps is not good at all due to the hostile environment the refugees do live in.This is why it is not easy for women and girls during their monthly periods.
Monthly periods are very normal for each and every lady who reaches puberty stage which may vary between the ages of 9-12 years. This occurs every month and it continues until menopause time again depending on one’s genetic factor.
Yet again monthly periods are not the same for all women, it fluctuates in terms of occurrence and timeframe. However, for most women it last between 3-4 days while others may take a week or more. This may happen due to numerous factors.
Lack of sanitary towels in the refugee camps pushes the women to make their own sanitary towels which are not good enough for them and are not as comfortable as the normal sanitary towels. Some of the women in the refugee camps use clothing during their menstruation period which is not hygienic at all.
Monthly periods come with quite a number of signs, which also differ among many women. Some of the signs include acne breakouts, bloating, stomach cramping, tension, breast tenderness among others.
Women and girls in refugee camps go through hectic and difficult time during their menstruation cycle. Taking for instance, kind of lifestyle, environment, insecurity, lack of water and lack of privacy.
Women in the refugee camp are not able to head to the toilets alone at night due to poorly lit paths. Women can be attacked while going to the toilets since there are no security personnel to provide full security to them. Moreover, they avoid using them after dark for fear of being assaulted, kidnapped or bitten by snakes, researchers learned.
There is no clean water in the refugee camps which also lowers the hygiene standards. It is normally advised that women should bathe properly while on their menses in order to avoid fungal infections and even other diseases linked to dirt.
There is also lack of privacy in the camps which also act as a threat to the females. Lack of privacy comes about because of the large number of people. These refugees run away from their countries which in most cases are war-torn.
“The walls that make the tents and separate them are normally just blankets, plastic sheeting and transparent, “ said one adolescent girl from Lebanon in an interview. “ Someone from the outside can see you in there.”
In addition, lack of proper toilets is a major problem in the camps. There are no proper places to dispose the used sanitary pads.
Women are special people since they can get pregnant, give birth, lactate and also undergo their monthly periods no matter the circumstances. This is not an easy task at all more so when in the refugee camps.
It is not easy to get access to hospitals while at the refugee camps. Some of the health facilities at the camps do not offer proper treatment for the patients majorly due to congestion and security. Seeing a gynecologist is also expensive and is also very rare in the refugee camps.
The host government should issue out sanitary towels to the affected since they are not expensive. The government should also look in to providing re-usable sanitary pads to the refugee camps. Re- usable sanitary pads reduce the money being used and also promotes less garbage.