The college of engineering at Makerere University has started the large scale production of MakaPads at its Kawempe factory.
Betty Kyakuwa, the communications officer of the College Of Engineering, Design Art and Technology (CEDAT) said, “MakaPads are now produced daily and distributed to rural schools. This is because the project is now past the research stage and now in the production phase.”
These are sanitary pads made out of Papyrus and paper. She goes on to explain that these materials were chosen because they are readily available locally. The main reasons why the idea of MakaPads was conceived was to provide cost friendly pads to female pupils and students and reduce the level of absenteeism from school.
The project was a brain child of Dr. Moses Musazi and was initially funded by The Rockefeller Foundation. The production of the Pads is largely manual so as to offer employment to many people, currently having about 225 employees.
The pads are also being exported to countries like Liberia. A pack of 3 pads goes for five hundred Ugandan shillings.
She adds that, “Research has shown no side effects of MakaPads but they are not as soft as other brands on the market. This is something a team of experts is working on.”
The pads are biodegradable; meaning they can decompose and form manure unlike the imported brands. They have been distributed in various parts of the country to increase awareness and uptake by girls still in school during their menstrual days.