Innovation That Matters

Sanitary pads | Photo source Shutterstock

Company gets girls to school in Africa by making an affordable, eco-sanitary pad


Making sanitary pads access can change girls' lives in developing countries

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Eco-Sanitary Trading, a company in Namibia, has introduced an affordable sanitary pad for women. Naomi Kefas, the managing director of the company, said the company created the product after realising that underprivileged girls missed school each month because they couldn’t afford pads. While visiting the city of Rundu, she was approached by a young girl who requested that next time Kefas brought food, perhaps she could bring sanitary pads too. Otherwise, she missed school. “That moment I knew I had to make a difference in the lives of these girls,” said Kefas.

The product is called “Perfect fit.” It is produced locally, is absorbent and can be carried to school in a pocket. It took the team nearly two years of research, including self-funded trips to South Africa, Kenya, India and China, to design the pads.

They are manufactured by a team of 26 — nearly half of them women — in a factory in the capital Windhoek. The company received funding from the Development Bank of Namibia and through grants.

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