Menstruation is a normal part of every woman’s life, and though to some it comes with some discomfort, every woman should enjoy this part of their womanhood. However, this is not the case for a number of young girls, especially those from poor families in rural areas who cannot afford to buy sanitary pads on monthly basis and end up resorting to unhygienic alternatives.
Luckily a local company, Triple Diamond, owned by two young Batswana has come to rescue the situation by selling washable pads and panties that can be re-used as many times as possible.
In an interview with one of the company’s co-owner, Rona Tshiamo said many of these girls use unhealthy options such as newspaper, toilet paper, dirty cloth, tattered clothes, sand and leaves which puts them at a huge risk of infection.
Triple Diamond is a 100 percent local owned company pioneered by two young Batswana women who aims to offer cutting edge solutions to afford current and future generations a sustainable healthy living environment in Botswana.
“Together with my partner we discovered that many school going girls aged between 13 and 19 miss school every month, due to lack of sanitary pads. We know that in rural areas many of these girls come from poor families and cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.
We have therefore partnered with Subz Washable Pads and Panties on Project Dignity, which is basically focused on the menstrual hygiene management and sexual reproduction health program for rural women,” she said.
Tshiamo explained that the objective of the project is to empower young women to reach their full potential without being disturbed by monthly periods. Tshiamo said the pads could last for five years and were allergy free and eco-friendly.
However, she pointed out that they have a full range of panties including kiddies and adults’ size for home based care for both men and women.
According to her partner Lady Noble, washable pads and panties are easy to wash and maintain, they are safe and had been approved by gynecologists and pharmacists.
She said they are made of 100 percent cotton and do not contain gels or absorbent chemicals and are made from five layers of hydrophilic fabric.
“Statistics show that a lot of teenage girls miss a week of school every month and this in turn results in high school dropout rates. This happens mostly in poorer townships and rural areas due to lack of affordable sanitary products and facilities,
She further said lack of essential resources made it easy to understand why young menstruating girls would choose to stay home rather than attend school. Noble also explained that the taboo nature of menstruation prevents girls and their communities from talking about and addressing the problem.
“In light of the mentioned challenges, Triple Diamond has seen it fit to come up with an initiative called Being a Woman to complement the efforts of the Botswana Government to address hygiene and health issues to assist a girl child in her teenage-hood,” she added.
Noble said the objective of ‘Being a Woman’ was to empower young girls through education together with access to sanitary wear and to empower young girls from deprived communities to have access to education without any restrictions.
“The monthly cycle of a woman should be something to celebrate and not to dread. Our products are easy to wash with running water to remove blood and when the pad is full wash it with soap and hang it outside to dry. These pads do not leak as they are made from fine materials,” she said.
These Subz washable pads and panties are sold in two packets, which are either three panties with nine pads for only P250 and two panties and six pads pack for P220. Each of these packs contains sealable bags to keep the pads safe before and after use and comes in a drawstring bag and wash care instruction pamphlet.
She said they sell the packs in bulks to corporate, businesses, government departments, private entities, clinics and hospitals, service organisation, churches and different stakeholders.
She encouraged companies, more especially those that have adopted schools, to buy the products for their schools.
“One pack will see one young woman or a girl through five worry free years. All you have to do is to buy these packs to touch a young girls life and make a difference,” she said.