UK nurse makes sanitary pads for Zim

via UK nurse makes sanitary pads for Zim 20/09/2014

A UK-BASED woman is making washable sanitary pads for Zimbabwean villagers out of towels, sheets and shower curtains.

Tessa Simba, a nurse originally from Zimbabwe, said the pads are not widely available in Zimbabwe and girls with nothing to use during menstruation miss school.

In rural areas they are “always behind” in their education, she said.

“The children are using leaves, they’re using cow dung, they are also using maize meal powder. All those things are so unhygienic and very uncomfortable.”

In urban areas they use newspapers and tissue paper if they can get it, she said.

Volunteers at the Furness Multicultural Community Forum and St Mark’s Church are making a test batch of pads.

If the project is successful Tessa intends to move production to Zimbabwe in the hope of creating jobs.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 15
  • comment-avatar

    What did our women use in the olden days before colonisation???That is what we should revive. Westernisation/Easternisation of even simple necessities is what has created shortages, problems and poverty in Africa. Lets work towards appropriate technology using local resources. that is is more sustainable

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    Rudadiso 8 years ago

    Jojo, do you reckon firewood is appropriate technology? Thats exactly what our forefathers used. Since you are keen on this, why don’t you do the research and tell us what women used in the olden days. Some comments are just laughable.

    I commend the UK nurse for her efforts.

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    Thank you nurse. I think as men, we dont fully understands the needs of women. not surprising we get such comments from Jojo who should wear nhembe (hideskins) for clothes.

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    bruce Koffe 8 years ago

    This innovation requires a good funding and if possible donors with the mandate of dealing with rural development and sustainability shoudl come up with proposal and submit to donors for funding. Considering that the potential inventor is a female nurse its highly probable that its safe and much better than the use of other materials instead of the morden pads. To ask the people to use the traditional materials of our great great parents its careless. Then there was no schooling or commecial employment, women could afford spending the day in private places without regard of mixing with anyone. Now its different. However is sad to note that during the Smith regime woman had the deginity of using pads or morden sanitary items, 34 years after they found themselves worse off than 40 years before. Mugabe and partners still feels they have the legitimate right to govern. Who is supporting such nonsense no one except the figurement of Nikuv, Tobayiwa Mudede, Rita Makarau, Chiwenga, Bonyongo, Chihuru and Paradaza and such stoogies and demagogues in the like of Sibanda, Mtsvangwa and the ZANU PF youth and women’s league.

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    Zvitsvahere 8 years ago

    Oh its not news any more.
    May someone tell her that these reusable pads are already being manufactured in Zimbabwe. Their name is RUMP – for Reusable Menstrual Pads.

    A Dutch NGO working in Zimbabwe, SNV actually exhibited Reusable Menstrual Pads (RUMP) at 2014 International Women’s Day Commemorations in Seke on 28 May 2014. The same NGO is also training women and girls in Masvingo District on how to sew the pads.

    Many other organisations and individuals have come up with different varieties of the RUMP. Check with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Kaguvi Building, Harare

    So my dear Nurse you are already behind – muri shure kwenguva.

  • comment-avatar

    The problem is again this useless Government. This rather embarrassing subject should not even come up when you consider the diversification of our previous Farmers. This is a product that should be manufactured locally. Ghandi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I say “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its Women and Children are treated.”

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    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    This is a noble idea,however I can see this project being high jacked by one of our unscrupulous people resulting in its total failure.They will employ their relatives and then charge the end products prices above the rural ladies-so who will benefit at the end!!!!
    Very few donors are now interested with projects done in Zimbabwe because our people abuse resources for their personal gains.I hope that this nurse is genuine about it,many have started these projects with the aim of enriching themselves at the end.Remember donated items end up being sold at high prices at Mbare Area.

    • comment-avatar
      Zvitsvahere 8 years ago

      Doctor do little, there is NO imported material needed. Its a very simple pad that is made from cloth. Yes micheka yecotton, fleece ingori tii mumashops. It can be easily hand made by anybody including you provided you get the pattern and basic, I mean basic training.

      Ladies and gentleman this is NOT an unknown in Zimbabwe. A lot on the reusable pads has already been done and presented to Min of Women’s Affairs where it is awaiting finalisation for presentation to Cabinet. Workshops were held in Harare to discuss Menstruation. Many organisations including Always and Farai (the manufacturers and marketers) of sanitary products of the same name were represented. RUMPs were also presented.

      Of cause well done Nurse and best wishes. My point is that we have moved from where she is starting. Tatove mberi mberi chaiko. Manje manje muchanzwa topic yopropozwa muParliament

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    The problem is some commentaries here underestimate the knowledge our olden culture had. There was an effective remedy for almost every situation/ailment. There were remedies for almost every common medical condition or common seasonal ailments. There was respect between people and their environment. People did not chop trees on river banks or catchment areas. There were remedies for sanitary situations,fertility and so forth. Africa was not poverty and disease stricken as it is today. My earlier comment doesn’t mean everything modern has to be abandoned like the commentator who mentions nhembe (Whites still commemorate their medieval culture every year by staging medieval activities and wearing medieval clothing on those days). So do you think the commendable nurse’ effort is going to supply every female in the country. Dont forget that not everyone has US$ in Zim. Sanitary pads are there in Zim but a lot of peple do not have the dollar to buy them. I remember during the time I used to leave in Zim when there was a shortage of salt and cooking oil due to forex shortages. It was then hat I taught people how to squeeze oil from sunflower and nuts. the result was at a thick unrefined oil that lasted longer. In the same area of my roots there is still some area with salt pans. Appropriate technology using locally available resources sustainably can complement well with modern imported technology and this can lift our people from the misery they find themseves in.

    • comment-avatar
      Nkiwane (M'kiwa) 8 years ago

      Did they have internet in those olden days too? Better throw your PC/MAC away! lol

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    Rudadiso 8 years ago

    Jojo, you talk about appropriate technology but for some reason you are downplaying this nurse’s initiative. It is appropriate in the sense that it is reusable and therefore the question of monthly purchases is taken care of.

    Of course there will always be people who cannot afford to buy stuff no matter how cheap. No one ever claimed that there are no sanitary pads in Zimbabwe. The issue is affordability to over 60% of women resulting in a significant percentage of girl children missing school for 7 days every month. Reusable sanitary wear would be a big help. Why are you being so dismissive of something that could help many women?

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    I think some are missing the point here. This is not about cultural remedies. The Medieval Europeans were not born with these amenities. As the world evolves new ideas to make the human condition more comfortable are discovered. We would not now say that if there is a shortage of toilet paper people should use leaves? It is not cultural and has nothing to do with culture. It is a normal human right for these things to be made available to those that have a need for them. These are not a luxury. Cotton was grown in abundance in Zimbabwe and all these things including cotton wool were readily available. It could be used in its original state or used to manufacture those products for those who can afford it. That a nurse in the UK (as Mixed race pointed out has a noble idea) SHOULD BE THE ONE TO TRY AND FIND A SOLUTION, means that Politicians should hang their heads in shame that such a private matter has found it’s self in the news, and the International domain.I SAY AGAIN “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its Women and Children are treated.”

    Reply

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    These guys who left Zim long ago will never stop amazing me. It is not true that Zim women are that desperate. You people are made to read and believe in nonsense and putrid spewed by the media that is hostile to Zimbabwe. Sanitary pads/ cotton are in abundance in Zimbabwe. Unless If you are referring to the aspect of affordability, perhaps.