Two varsity students invent sanitary pads from banana stems

Meet the KNUST students making sanitary pads from banana stem

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

Barely months after the Always ultra safety and hygiene scandal that saw many post their bad reviews of the product, Two Ghanaian university students have shown great innovation to develop sanitary pads from banana stem.

Emily Otoo-Quayson and Matilda Sampong are both students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The two ladies aim to solve the problem of majority of girls who cannot afford sanitary pads during menstruation.

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Emily and Matilda are the brains behind the innovation. They have, therefore, taken it upon themselves to produce pads from banana stem, which are relatively cheaper.

Otoo-Quayson is a final year Civil Engineering student while Matilda Sampong is in the second year pursuing Business Administration.

“According to statistics about 95% of girls in rural areas miss classes during this period and we thought to do something about this,” Otoo-Quayson said.

A study by the Human Rights Watch disclosed that one in 10 girls in Africa skips school during menstruation because they cannot afford sanitary pad. This is as a result of the high level of poverty in the many rural communities on the continent.

The two KNUST students not only want to make sanitary pads cheaper, but also safer for all girls. Many sanitary pads are made of plastic materials and contain a cellulose gel called dioxin, which can lead to organ damage.

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“This dioxin is harmful to the female reproductive system so we decided to develop a banana sanitary pad to make the pads healthful.” They explained that banana and plantain stem have proven to be effective absorbents, insisting they are safer.

“In the Western world they use these stems to produce paper bags and diapers but it’s not been used to produce sanitary pads,”  “The conventional ones you find on the market, the least is 5 cedis but for these ones because of the materials we used, it’s priced at 2 cedis,” they added.

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