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Novel Materials for Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Production

Lawino Kagumba of ZanaAfrica in Kenya will develop and test sanitary pads that use a locally available agricultural by-product as an alternative low-cost absorbent material. This would enable low-income women and girls to have access to affordable feminine hygiene products, improving their productivity and menstrual health. In Phase I, Lawino Kagumbe and Megan White Mukuria of American Friends of ZanaAfrica Group in the U.S., working with collaborators in Kenya, developed a pulping process that could inexpensively and efficiently process readily available materials into an absorbent pulp suitable for sanitary pads. They also estimated costs of large-scale processing. In Phase II, Kagumba, now working directly for ZanaAfrica in Kenya, will further optimize the manufacturing process, design a plant for large-scale production, and produce low-cost sanitary pads for evaluation by end users in Kenya.

More information about Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies (Round 6)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.