Redefining approaches for menstrual health

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Pioneering the Menstrual Cup Brand in Ethiopia, a private company called Meri-Bandnet trading PLC is distributing the Noble cup within the country and redefining the approach to menstrual health.
“The noble cup is a product that can be reused for five years. The cup is a soft menstrual cup made from a medical grade non-toxic silicone which has no disadvantage for body,” said Liya Alemayehu, project coordinator of the company, adding that during menstruation, the flexible cup is inserted into the vagina and collects menstrual fluid inside the body.
“Menstrual cups are bell-shaped suction receptacles that collect blood and can be kept in for up to 12 hours,” she elaborated.
“The flexible bell shaped cup is folded and inserted into the vagina, catching menstrual fluid. The cup can be removed, emptied, and re-inserted. It is reusable for 5 years. They are the safest and most economical option for women living in poverty. Moreover, the Noble Cup is an eco-friendly, time saving, cost effective method of managing menstruation,” added Liya.

“Pads create unnecessary waste and are difficult for women with limited sanitation facilities to dispose of. Noble Cup requires far less water to clean than cloth rags,” Liya explained. However, stigma and taboos around periods can make it difficult for people in any culture to try them as she said to solve this the company is working on awareness creation in health centers and schools.
Additional to not having access to clean water or safe toilets, nationally, lack of affordable sanitary pads is the main challenge for managing, women hygiene. In Ethiopia, the

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

re are approximately 50 million women and this number is expected to double by 2050. In Ethiopia, 25% of girls do not use any men

strual health products during their periods, often due to the high cost of disposable pads mainly; poorer, rural girls are more likely to utilize reusable products, whilst urban, wealthier girls are more likely to utilize disposable sanitary pads. The menstrual cups in this regard are cheaper in the long run, says Liya.
To minimize the period poverty and lack of access to adequate resources and education to manage menstruation, the company was been founded in 2018 by Sara Eklund in order to make an eco-friendly and affordable period product available to all women both in Ethiopia and across Africa.
Eklund launched Ethiopia’s first menstrual cup brand, the Noble Cup, in 2018. Now, the brand cup is already stocked by between 10 and 13 stores and pharmacies respectively in the country and hopes to grow its reach. The company imports the product from China. The company lists the price of the noble cup as 200 birr.