By Kefiloe Kajane
Research conducted by South Africa’s Stellenbosch University has found that an estimated 30 percent of girls in Africa do not attend school while they are menstruating as they cannot afford to buy the sanitary items.
In a quest to tackle with this problem in Lesotho, Nthabiseng Mohanela from Morija established her company ‘Mopads’.
Mopads is a locally owned company by a Mosotho woman that produces washable and reusable sanitary pads.
Speaking to theReporter, Mohanela said the company started in August 2020. She said it was women’s month when she was inspired to design and manufacture reusable sanitary pads.
She said the idea came to her when she visited a certain school.
“There was an organisation that taught girls how they can make themselves reusable sanitary towels using their old clothes,” she told this publication
She indicated that though she loved the idea at the time, she wanted to implement it as her project. She had to consider the type of material she would use bearing in mind how it could affect the PH of the girls using the items.
“My biggest concern was the health aspect of the items on the users,” she remembers.
She explained that she decided to start designing her first reusable pads which people around her used. She sought feedback from those who started using her makes so as to implement some improvements.
“I considered all the suggestions and then came up with the suitable items that actually meet the required standards for every girl. We were in a process of patenting the design as we just received our health certificate. Our sanitary pads have been tested and are now suitable for use,” she urges.
“To us it is more than just a business because we are giving girls their dignity back. Periods are not a choice and we know that many girls end up missing school because they do not have sanitary pads. We are closing that gap of learners fail to attend classes due to their menstrual periods,” Mohanela added.
“Our reusable sanitary pads can last up to three or four years as long as they are taken care of properly,” Mohanela said.
She said they also teach people about the importance of using reusable materials in order to keep the environment clean.
In addition, she concludes that her products are affordable urging that the plan is to make the items accessible to every school girl.