By T.P. Singh, BDS, MDS, MPH
The Himalayas, Kaza, India Learning Abroad 2022, comprising of 7 U of U students led by Public Health faculty,Dr. T.P. Singh has returned to Salt Lake City. This program was very successful and incident free. All participants remained healthy and worked alongside community partners on field days while enjoying the mighty Himalayas. They were able to complete two community based participatory research projects in three rural settings as per plans; Women Health Assessment and Menstrual Hygiene and Management in Spiti: Assessing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding menstrual practices. Initial findings were shared with the participants, key informants, village leaders and NGO partner, Ecosphere. Final results and reports are in progress.
In extension of the menstrual hygiene management project, U of U students made more than 100 menstrual bead bracelets from locally available materials and distributed to young girls and women in the three villages. The bracelet had 28 beads to represent the average duration of a menstrual cycle. At least 5 of the beads are red to signify the average days of a period cycle. The students led community demonstration of the use of the bracelet. This was followed by community viewing of a 30-minute video on menstrual hygiene management in the local language. Key outcome of the project was that 6 women from the local villages have volunteered to pursue next steps with the Division of Public Health. We are excited for the next learning abroad in June 2023 to continue the excellent work done this year.