MakaPads are biodegradable sanitary pads made in Africa from papyrus reeds. They are the only trademarked biodegradable sanitary pads made in Africa.
Market Suggested Retail Price
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
Mass produced at three MakaPad factories in Kawempe-Kampala, Soroti district and Kyaaka II refugee settlement in Mubende district in Uganda. Production, by design, is largely manual so as to offer employment. Over 70% of production cost is labor. The three factories can produce half a million pads every month.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Relief agencies and humanitarian organizations (ex. UNHCR) can acquire the MakaPads directly from the manufacturer. Makapads are delivered in Kampala within 3-10 days after 100% down payment. MakaPads can be delivered in 100 packet boxes, anywhere in East Africa; extra shipping costs apply.
Distributions to Date Status
UNHCR buys 2,200,000 MakaPads from T4T annually since 2011. According to staff, at least 200,000 women are using MakaPads every month.
Normal and super
Absorbent base materials
Can be purchased with or without an adhesive
MakaPads are made from papyrus and paper waste and are chemical free. The papyrus fibers are beaten, dried and softened manually. They are assembled with a moisture barrier and mesh covering. One pad can be used for 8 to 10 hours. MakaPads can be purchased with or without an adhesive that slips into knickers with special elastics to hold the pad in place.
Provided by manufacturer
Single use product
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
One pad can be used for 8 to 10 hours. Available in regular and super absorbency. MakaPads are 95% biodegradable.
Vetted Performance Status
Performance vetted by several national, regional and international agencies including Ugandan Bureau of Standards. For a pad to meet international standards, it must have at least four minimum attributes. It must have a separate absorbent layer, be wrapped in a non-woven material, have a plastic piece to prevent accidents, and have stickers to hold it.
Pad should not be used beyond the recommended time period of 8 to 10 hours.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Study on menstrual management in Uganda., Aug. 2013.
J. Hennegan, C. Dolan, M. Wu, L. Scott, and P. Montgomery, Schoolgirls’ experience and appraisal of menstrual absorbents in rural Uganda: a cross-sectional evaluation of reusable sanitary pads. Reprod. Health, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1–12, Dec. 2016, doi: 10.1186/s12978-016-0260-7.
G. Miiro et al., Menstrual health and school absenteeism among adolescent girls in Uganda (MENISCUS): A feasibility study. BMC Womens. Health, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1–13, Jan. 2018, doi: 10.1186/s12905-017-0502-z.
Compliance with regulations
Certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards
MakaPads are a Second Prize Winner of the empowering people award