DR RAVI KHANNA is a well known Pediatric in Bareilly and owns a modern and state-of-the-art facility, fully equipped to provide medical care to the children in coordination with the family of the child. The paediatrician ensures to clarify any doubt and talk to the point in a very warm and friendly manner.
Here is what Dr. Khanna has to say in his open letter:
I’m Dr Ravi Khanna, a Newborn & Child specialist, practising in Bareilly ,UP since last three decades. Personally in my practice, I often face dilemmas of aghast, unprepared parent of girls having “menarche” ie first period (menstrual cycle), sometimes even at a tender age of 9 to 10 years…. “How could she have it so early ???? Is she now an adult ??? Is her childhood now over???” As I consult them I also urge upon them to celebrate d occasion… Let her feel special Let her b proud of attainment of a vital milestone in a girl- child’s life. In my practise I routinely ask d parents especially the accompanying mothers (during consultations for some other ailments they have come to seek my advise) , to inform their daughters as young as 9 years of the changes that are going to take place in her body— lest periods arrive unannounced and at the very worst, unprepared. Most of these daughters are my old patients who ,from newborns have grown up and the parent take the message reverently.
But let me be frank . I’m still not able to bring home this advise to my new patients . They may think that I’m pervert of some sort. I only hope for the best. I’m sure most of d pediatricians and family physicians in our country face this dilemma. Through your organisation, as the awareness spreads , I hope drs’ hesitation also goes away. Our culture has so many mindsets associated with periods which definitely needs to be addressed. During periods, she is considered “sick”(sick)! She can’t enter the kitchen to cook, can’t go to the pooja ghar etc. Even grandmothers and mothers contribute to the misery and shame . Sanitary pads are considered as luxury items and only for the snobs and rich people.
Stuffing old discarded piece of old clothes or saree , is the order of the day. This single most unhealthy practice leads to ascending infections of internal organs (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, PID ,as we Drs say). A girl /woman having PID repeatedly suffers from fever, endures abonimal abdominal pain , filling her life with misery. Girls wearing jeans n skirts suddenly switch over to salwar suite or similar clothings for fear of spotting seeping through the dress, set the boys/male colleagues in office sniding — she is wearing today salwar suite/sari instead of jeans and leggings …. Ooo she must b bleeding ! Disgusting !!! Periods are healthy for girls and womenfolk, they r normal to have—this message should b conveyed effectively especially to the male gender. Let men also speak up .
I believe it is right of every woman to have hygiene , healthy attitude with dignity towards menstrual cycles. I wish I could have come in personally to deliver my thoughts.