A household in Uganda has on average four members, two of whom will most likely be female. These women are expected to deal with several challenges, including health issues associated with menstruation. They need approximately two packets of sanitary pads each for an infection-free menstrual cycle. Currently, a six-piece packet costs approximately 3000 Ugandan shillings (about $0.8) on average. This sum pushes them beyond the reach of low-income people in rural areas, who earn less than $1 per capita per day.
School-going girls from low-income backgrounds are mainly affected since they cannot afford standard pads. They are therefore forced to use unsanitary materials like old cloth that increase the risk of infections. They are also hindered from attending school.
EcoSmart sanitary pads are made from upcycled sugarcane residue. The pads are designed to be affordable so that girls from low income settings are able to afford them. They are designed to be highly absorbent and disposable in order to save water and soap which are scarce resources in rural communities. They are also designed to be environmentally friendly for easy disposal.