The Bishesta campaign: a menstrual hygiene management intervention for people with intellectual impairments and their carers
This paper describes the components of the Bishesta campaign: a behaviour change intervention for menstrual hygiene management (MHM), targeting young people with intellectual impairments, and their carers in Nepal. The campaign uses two fictitious characters: Bishesta (a young person with an intellectual impairment) and Perana (her carer), and consists of three group training modules. ‘Period packs’, designed to make MHM behaviours attractive and easy to adopt, are given to the young people. Packs include storage bags, a bin, and stories about Bishesta menstruating and learning to manage as independently as possible, with Perana’s support. Carers receive a calendar to track the young person’s menstrual cycle. A Bishesta doll, with removable clothes, underwear, and a miniature ‘period pack’ is used in training to demonstrate MHM. Evaluation findings show the intervention is feasible at small scale, so further research on how to scale up the intervention in an evidence-based way is required.