Updated on December 19, 2023


Created on August 27, 2015

MakaPads Sanitary Pads

Upcoming Update

MakaPads are biodegradable sanitary pads made in Africa from papyrus reeds.

Developed By
  1. MakaPads
Tested By
  • Makere University College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT)
  • Uganda National Bureau of Standards
Content Partners


Product Description

MakaPads are biodegradable sanitary pads made in Africa from papyrus reeds. They are the only trademarked biodegradable sanitary pads made in Africa.

Target SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Technology for Tomorrow Ltd.

Manufacturing/Building Method

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.

Absorbency types

Normal and super

Absorbent base materials

Papyrus reed

Usability Features

Can be purchased with or without an adhesive

Design Specifications

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.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by manufacturer

Replacement Components



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

Evaluation methods

Field trials

Other Information

MakaPads is a Second Prize Winner of the empowering people award

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