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Initiative to promote low-cost sanitary napkin launched  

Negligence in female menstrual hygiene costs 200 mn workdays a year 

UNB NEWS

Saturday 11 August, 2018 06:36:50 pm

Initiative to promote low-cost sanitary napkin launched  

Photo: Wahida Zaman Shithi/UNB.

Dhaka, Aug 11 (UNB)-  Speakers at a programme on Thursday urged for promoting affordable and sustainable sanitary napkin products for marginalized women to protect them from infectious diseases. 

The speakers came up with the urge while Ella, a non-profit organisation working for menstrual hygiene of female industry workers, launched a partnership with several others organisations at British Council Auditorium in the city. 

The partners include Beximco, Dulal Brothers Ltd, Persona, Momitex Expo Ltd and Support. 

According to the organizers, Ella Alliance is working for producing environment friendly sanitary napkins called Ella pads and other hygiene products from garment scraps fabrics those are left after producing tons of garments in the textile factories in Bangladesh.

Ella alliance works with a view to ensure health and wellbeing of marginal women with a mission of zero waste from textile and to create new entrepreneurs, said the organizers. 

Mamunur Rahman, founder of Ella Pad said, in this project, garments scraps will be reused to make low-cost feminine hygiene product. 

Claiming  sanitary napkin as a luxurious product for the garment workers because of being expensive for them, he said, Bangladesh is losing approximately 200 million workdays every year as the female workers are absent in heavy flow days losing their salaries as well. 

"Female workers of those textile garment factories make Ella for themselves so that they don't have to spend a lot on expensive branded sanitary pads and still can maintain hygiene during their menstruation" added the founder saying the target is also to create new entrepreneurs from the poor working women. 

Dr Nowsheen Sharmeen Purabi, a gynecologist said, due to lack of hygiene maintenance women of the country face different serious health issues. 

Due to the high cost of commercial sanitary napkins, the marginalized women cannot afford the hygiene which affects their health, she added. 

Low cost production of the pads using garment scraps would help these women to afford their hygiene maintenance, said the gynecologist. 

Mirza Nurul Ghani Shovon, President of National Association of Small and Cottage Industries of Bangldesh (NASCIB), said, if the underprivileged women and female RMG workers are given proper support they can emerge as new entrepreneurs producing these low cost hygiene products. 

Ahmed Abdul Kabir Chowdhury, CSR and Compliance Manager of Beximco, said, the Ella Pad comes in two sanitary product variants—regular biodegradable napkins and low-cost reusable underwear. 

If the factories allow the female workers to use the necessary facilities such as machinery, scraps, leftovers and space they can produce the products for using themselves and distribute the surplus to fellow workers, he said. 

He further added that most importantly, these female workers are getting these sanitary products free of cost. The whole process is managed by the female workers themselves.