The Match Research Unit (MRU) of the University of Witwatersrand in partnership with the Durban University of Technology’s Isolempilo Clinic recently introduced the Menstrual cup project (Mcup) to female students at DUT.
The on-going two-year project is intended to provide adolescent girls and young women with menstrual cups that provide effective protection during their menstruation. It is in line with the objectives of the “she conquers” campaign initiated by the South African Government for campus students in order to empower young women to be determined, resilient, AIDS free and safe.
The menstrual cup is the latest innovation, a menstrual hygiene product, unlike any other menstrual products. The cup collects menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it and it can be re-used for up to five years.
MRU project coordinator Bongiwe Zulu, said they saw a need to start this initiative on campus as there are students that are unemployed and cannot afford sanitary pads. This has led to numerous students being affected with their studies during this time of the month.
“It is a fact that sanitary pads are expensive and most young women cannot afford them, so this is the most convenient way to assist students because the product can be emptied, cleaned and reused as many times as possible,” said Zulu.
The MRU team visits the DUT Isolempilo clinic twice a week in order to provide training on health care, educate and encourage the continued use of Mcups.
Khomotso Rakubu said she will be experimenting with the product because buying sanitary pads is expensive.
“The rising prices of sanitary pads has really affected me and I’m sure other many young ladies as well. Sometimes, I have to buy two packs in one month, I’m happy for this and I am hoping it will be efficient,” said Rakubu.
The project will include up to 10 further education institutions in KwaZulu-Natal and will be part of the existing campus health activities.
Pictured: Project coordinator Bongiwe Zulu and DUT students Snenhlanhla Thabethe, Nokwanda Buthelezi, Phumla Mnguni and Khomotso Rakubu, during the Mcup launch at DUT.