projects
Low-cost sanitary pad for girls and women

Redesign of MakaPads – low-cost sanitary pad for girls and women in urban and rural settings in Uganda

Timeperiod: February – June 2015
Partner: Technology for Tomorrow Ltd

Technology for Tomorrow Ltd is a company that has its roots in research and development at Makerere University and is run by the owner and founder, Dr. Moses Kizza Musaazi. One of their products is the MakaPads – a low-cost sanitary pad for girls and women in Uganda. Many women in Uganda cannot afford to buy off-the counter labels and instead use unhygienic and potentially harmful alternatives – or they stay at home disconnected from school and society. The MakaPads was initially aimed at schoolgirls without access to affordable sanitary pads. The MakaPads allow schoolgirls to stay in class during their menstrual period, helping them to not drop out of school because of regular absence.

The Makapads has been distributed by UNHCR in refugee camps in Northern Uganda as well as to schools. Technology for Tomorrow wanted to make the Makapads available in the normal market as a low-cost alternative to the big labels. In order to make it more competitive, Technology for Tomorrow collaborated with Design without Borders to improve design and packaging as well as reducing material waste.

Organic and recycled: the MakaPads is made of recycled paper and dried papyrus. The sterilization process is done by UV radiation and no chemicals involved.

Research and design development methods:
• In-context research of production process
• Market research and mapping
• User and panel testing

Results:
• Decrease in material waste
• Improved design and comfortability
• Improved packaging and brand

Watch the film about the project made by Muyingo Siraj: