Farhana Sultana, assistant scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) has won the grand prize at a worldwide competition, for her proposed innovation of developing a machine to produce jute cellulose-based sanitary pads for sustainable menstrual health.
The 4th Annual Innovations Pitch Competition on "A Healthier Global Community Addressing the Twin Challenges of Pandemic Preparedness and Impact of Climate Change", organised by the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) has also awarded Farhana with an honorarium of $5000. Icddr,b shared the information on its official Facebook page.
In collaboration with Dr Mubarak Ahmed Khan, scientific advisor at Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, Farhana manually developed and piloted the jute cellulose-based disposable pad which is an alternative solution for menstrual health and hygiene for women and girls in Bangladesh, reads the post.
Jute-based sanitary pads are already in production. However, the pads available now are completely handmade. Farhana has been awarded the prize for her idea of developing a machine capable of mass-producing such pads.
With the money won from the award, Farhana will conduct an industrial trial for mass production, develop a business plan, and explore options for further scale-up and waste management, according to icddr,b.
The industrial trial will also assess the compatibility, compressibility and stretchability of the pad, and conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis with other commercially available disposable sanitary pads, the post added.
Farhana Sultana will be a judge at the 2022 5th Annual Innovations Pitch Competition.