Help Girls Finish School

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)

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We work with the adolescent girls on MHM i.e. we partner with them in the field of:

  1. Using Safepad™ to absorb and collect blood;
  2. Changing Safepad™ in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the period; 
  3. Using soap and water to wash Safepad™ and their bodies as required”;
  4. Discussing Safepad™ in the presence of adolescent boys – the discussion will emphasise the idea that Safepad™ is a means of managing toilets (not a pad for the underprivileged);
  5. Registering those of them that agree to get fresh set of Safepad™ after every 4 years in school; and,
  6. Publicizing activities in items 1-5 above on- and offline in order to break taboo around menstruation and to continue getting nominations

Safepad™ is a reusable and recyclable sanitary pad designed to provide a safe and infection free experience.

75% of all women experience vaginal yeast or bacterial infections during their lifetime. These infections cause health issues and in worst cases will impact fertility.

Safepad™ hygienic sanitary pads are designed with a permanently bonded antimicrobial technology that helps reducing vaginal infections caused by Candida albicans along with infections from other pathogens.

The antimicrobial technology is based on a treatment that leaves a positively charged layer on the fabric. This layer will attract and kill the negatively charged microbes, like bacteria and fungi. The treatment does not contain any harmful chemicals.

The permanently bonded antimicrobial fabric along with a highly absorbent material provides a comfortable and hygienic experience for the women.

Antimicrobial Efficiency as tested under experimental conditions JIS L 1902:2008

Pseudomonas Aeruginosa 99,99% reduction
Escherichia Coli 99,99% reduction
Staphylococcus Aureus 99,99% reduction
Candida Albicans 99,99% reduction
Aspergillus Niger 99,99% reduction

Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR)

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Notice that we market WASH and SRHR differently.

Like our WASH, our MHM shifts effects of promoting conspicuous consumption (i.e. keeping up with or outdoing your neighbour) from the poor (who are affected negatively by this) to you, their urbanised compatriots, and organisations/corporations – arguably, MHM is the main SRHR issue in developing countries.

We are sensitive to ‘shame’. Shame helps form and maintain social relationships, however, shame due to poverty is making it difficult for youth to access SRHR services that they need – they tease to shame each other about, and hide, their sexual health, sexuality and sexual rights. Contemporary psychosocial literature highlights that shame is a volatile and often harmful emotion, particularly in conditions of poverty. Shame’s negative psychological outcomes include: low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anger and even suicide (Turner, 2000, 2009; Scheff, 1988, 2000).

Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. 

Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life. It encompasses sexual activity, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. It is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and or relationships. It is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.

Sexual Rights critical to the realisation of sexual health include right to:

      • equality and non-discrimination
      • be free from torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment
      • to privacy
      • the highest attainable standard of health (including sexual health) and social security
      • marry and to found a family and enter into marriage with the free and full consent of the intending spouses, and to equality in and at the dissolution of marriage
      • the number and spacing of one’s children
      • information, as well as education
      • freedom of opinion and expression, and
      • an effective remedy for violations of fundamental rights.

Deliberately, we give the highest quality products e.g., Safepad™ in our MHM – giving low quality products to the poor harms their mental and social wellbeing, the same health condition that is to be improved .

Note that boys are involved in the MHM to reduce teasing. Note also that we widely publicise the exercise offline and online. Importantly, we distribute not to the underprivileged – we distribute Safepad™ as a means of managing toilets.

Each girl gets from us 2 Safepad™ packs for every four years in school – to stay in school, to reduce early pregnancy (a study found that 2 out of 3 girls in rural areas that have sanitary pads get the pads from their sex partners). Education develops their ability to understand issues of SRHR.

For the girls to use Safepad™ properly, we openly engage with them on issues of puberty and menarche (or the start of menstruation), fertility (why menstruation happens), contraception (for those who don’t believe in abstinence), and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health. We touch on child marriage and the risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

We distribute Safepad™ to avoid use of improvised materials such as improperly cleaned or scavenged cloth or other material such as newspaper, used disposable sanitary pads or even grass; which may cause reproductive tract infections, such as bacterial vaginosis or vulvovaginal candidiasis, which in turn can increase susceptibility to HIV infection.

Due to our MHM, girls will become aware of anaemia, for instance, as a major contributor to maternal morbidity, that it is associated with menorrhagia, or heavy periods. They will also learn about endometriosis, a menstrual disorder, that contributes to infertility. About dysmenorrhea, or painful menses, that may make them miss one or more days of school or work each month.

Safepad™ is Comfortable

Safepad™ is made of a soft, durable and breathable fabric, that offers reusability, protection and comfort.

Safepad™ is Environmentally friendly

Safepad™ is re-usable and can be re-cycled.

Safepad™ is Easy to Use:

Safepad™ has high and quick absorbency technology and will not leach during use.

Safepad™ fabric technology ensures high and immediate absorbency, non-leakage and quick drying after wash.

We are committed to adolescent girls in need of hygienic protection – According to UN’s Education Agency, one in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstruation. Some girls reportedly lose 20 percent of their education, for this reason, making them more likely to drop out of school altogether.

Questions & Answers

What is the average number of days per month a user has her menstruation?

The average menstruation period lasts from 4 to 6 days. Most women experience that during the first 2 – 3 days the flow is heavier.

How many units of SafePad™ do you give?

There are 4 pieces of Safepad™ per package – 3 x Super Daypads & 1 x Long Nightpad

Provided that care instructions (30 min soaking, rinsing, squeezing and drying) are followed, a piece of Safepad™ will withstand at least 100 washes.

Assuming that the Safepad™ is washed twice in a period, 100 washes translates into 4 years of use. The antimicrobial efficacy will not deplete over time as the treatment is permanently bonded to the fabric.

Flow varies from woman to woman as well as within the period for the same woman.

Within the normal range, an average usage per person per 24-hour period is 2 – 4 pcs. In the beginning of the period where the flow is heavy: 3 during day – one at night. Towards the end of the period one to two pads per day and one at night.

Therefore, we give 2 pack a girl for every 4 years in school – this takes care of washing and drying

Which fabric and material used in Safepad™?

The fabric is 100% polyester based.

The top fabric is a soft velvet

The core absorbent material is made of special treated fibrillated high absorbent fibers

The bottom fabric is a mesh jacquard with a PU lamination

What chemicals are used?

The antimicrobial treatment of Safepad™ is formed by Silica, Nitrogen and carbon. It does not contain any harmful or dangerous chemicals nor does it contain antibiotics. The non-harmful chemicals used to make Safepad™ antimicrobial will not leak out of the fabric during use or washing as the treatment is permanently bonded to the fabric.

Absorbsion:

1 Super Daypad can absorb approximately 10 ml without leaking.

1 Long Nightpad can absorb approximately 15 ml without leaking.