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Bfree Duo Menstrual Hygiene Cup

Our aim is to help achieve SDGs #3 & #5, improve stock-out issues, and deliver environmentally smart HCD menstrual and novel SRH solutions.

Photo of Leisa Hirtz
22 15

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Tell us about your vision for this project: Share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years

By 2023, we aim to scale our program in Uganda to deliver 25,000+ Bfree Duos, knowledge and support to adolescent girls and women living in refugee settlements and those living in poverty in the broader community also advocating for inclusion of both menstrual cups and barrier method contraception products in the national education curriculum to increase menstruation management and family planning product choice to reach a further 1.5 million girls and young women by 2030.

Who will implement this idea? Or what’s your strategy to implement in the next 6-18 months?

Personnel: 1 FT project manager - Canada & Uganda 1 FT Engineer - ESPCI Paris 2 PT Engineers - ESPCI Paris 3 FT PHAU - Uganda 1 FT M&E Officer - Uganda 2 PT Community Mobilization Coordinators 1 PT ZanaAfrica for the magazine - Kenya 1 PT Business Manager - Kenya 2 PT Interpreters to assist training of trainers - Uganda 1 FT & 2 PT from WoMena to train trainers in Palorinya Refugee Settlement - Uganda 5 PT trained trainers - Uganda Programme Schedule: Mths 1-6 R&D Mths 3-8 Fabrication & Production Mths 1-8 Programme Design/Iteration Mths 8-15 Implementation Mths 1-18 Data Collection, M&E Mths 15-18 Impact Assessment

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

Feedback from adolescent girls, schoolmasters, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, OpenIDEO, and researchers has helped with iterating prototypes, ideas for programme delivery and M&E strategy. Our programme has been enhanced with the addition of a menstrual/ovulation tracking tool. Feedback has assisted with the process of approval for import into Uganda via formal channels. Research and implementation partners have been instrumental in providing iterative ideas and reinforcing support.

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

Our change management strategy relies on a bottom-up human-centered design approach in a last mile to the lab continuous feedback loop. Depending on the specific change, the team member expert in the category is expected to provide supportive reasons for the change. Via established internal communication strategies, the entire team is updated. Final decisions are made by the project manager keeping in mind the goal to provide affordable, safe, innovative and sustainable solutions.

How long have you been working on the project?

4

What year was your organization or group started?

2013

How many full time staff are needed to implement your idea?

7

What most attracted you to the UNFPA Young People's Sexual and Reproductive Health Challenge?

UNFPA's Principles of Innovation have provided reinforcement of our iterative process and a framework for our implementation strategies. The focus on youth sexual and reproductive health is what attracted me most to this challenge. This is the goal of the work I do every day. I began Women's Global Health Innovations with a focus and goal to develop and deliver products, knowledge and continuous support to target menstrual, SRH challenges and rights of adolescent girls living in LMICs.

Share the URL for your Business Model Canvas Here

URL for Business Model Canvas https://next.canvanizer.com/canvas/wuZKPATbHRHuA

Opportunity Areas – Select those that apply

  • Last Mile Sexual and Reproductive Health Commodities

What specific problem(s) are you trying to address? (300 character limit)

Girls' and young women's menstrual, sexual and reproductive health needs are not being met. Disposable menstrual pads are few, uncomfortable, smell and are bad for the environment. Many adolescent girls are requesting discreet, female-initiated reusable, side-effect free contraceptive solutions.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address? (500 character limit)

There is no magic bullet solution to the challenges we're addressing but I still wish there was. Confirmation as to whether the Bfree Duo will reduce the incidence of HIV infections in adolescent girls via the physical barrier protection of the transition zone cells of the cervix is still required. An RCT may be required before girls and women will have access to the Bfree Duo. The time for this process as well as how best to effectively include and engage boys and men remains unanswered.

Who are your end users? (1000 character limit)

Our end users are adolescent girls, PSNs, and young women ages 10-24 living in LMICs, especially in remote communities and refugee settlements. Girls and women live with the constant struggle to manage their menstrual, sexual and reproductive health (SRH). With stock-out and the high cost of sanitary pads along with the side-effects attributed to hormonal contraception, better alternatives are needed. Adolescent girls and PSNs, in particular, have unique challenges accessing contraception. Cultural taboos, social mores, and religious norms impact a girl's ability and willingness to openly seek family planning methods. Additional benefits derive from the product's discreet secondary contraceptive function. Research indicates that physically protecting the cervix may also prevent HIV infection and other STIs. Realistically, we plan to reach 25k girls and women living in LMICs by 2023. The Bfree Duo provides a menstrual and contraceptive, female-controlled and female initiated solution.

Explain your idea. (500 character limit)

Adolescent girls in Kibera Slum who were and are already using the menstrual cup asked if they could use the product as a contraceptive. This gave us the insight to investigate the potential of a dual purpose device that would work as both a menstrual cup and cervical cap. A material science component of the product has been proven not only to have a bactericidal effect but is also a known sperm motility inhibitor. Additionally, viruscidal effects on HIV and HPV will be tested and determined.

What is your value proposition? (500 character limit)

Menstruation and reproduction are holding adolescent girls back from becoming fully empowered, educated, and gender-equal citizens. With knowledge and dignity to manage their menstrual, sexual and reproductive health with a safe, affordable, reusable, easy to use, and clean, female-initiated, discreet multi-purpose assistive and preventive technology, girls will have the agency to make the decision on how they wish to make decisions regarding their individual futures.

What's different about your idea compared to current solutions? (500 character limit)

Our initiative is human-centered in design. Adolescent girls shared their ideas. We took these ideas and reverse engineered to develop a non-hormonal contraceptive that's free of side effects and whose contraceptive effect is immediately reversible. We are single-mindedly driven and uniquely positioned to deliver an innovative contraceptive technology merging evidence-based proven technologies in a novel, reusable, safe and easy to use, multipurpose assistive and preventive device.

What are the key reasons why end users would turn to your organization over another?

  • Convenience / Accessibility: Making products accessible

What would success look like for your end users? (500 character limit)

1. Discreet access for adolescent girls inhibited to seek family planning services out of embarrassment and social barriers as the product is also a menstrual cup. 2. An effective non-hormonal contraceptive method on hand whenever needed with less hassle to access where negotiating condom use is also a challenge. 3. The product lasts for 5-10 years so the need for repeated visits to distant clinics for contraception products is reduced and stockout issues less of a burden.

How would you measure the impact your idea has on your end user(s) ? How will you measure the success of your program? (500 character limit)

We have an M&E expert positioned in Palorinya Refugee Settlement in Uganda to develop a working model. Felix Mubuuke is a highly accomplished Senior MEAL Officer who has more than six years’ experience in designing or implementing organization-wide systems for M&E and institutional adaptive management learning. He has been a leader in design and implementation of M&E systems, engaging a diversity of organization programs and supporting teams to contribute to strategic delivery systems.

What strategies will/are you testing to acquire end users? (300 character limit)

End users will be acquired via multiple channels including online/offline ads, youth-led engagement activities (music, dance and visual art), radio programming, NGO partner program delivery, word-of-mouth peer-to-peer incentive programs and door-to-door delivery for Persons with Special Needs (PSN).

Key partnerships - Who will you partner with to make your idea work? (500 character limit)

We will partner and engage with suppliers, buyers and form strategic alliances. Key to success is strong partnerships. Our plan is to seek procurement partners. We've entered early partnership discussion with Grand Challenges Canada, Global Affairs Canada, RH Supplies Coalition, War Child, Partners in Health, ETHIOPIAID Canada, Plan International, Girls Guides, amongst others. We have and will again participate in international development conferences including Women Deliver in June 2019.

What is your organization’s name? (150 character limit)

Women's Global Health Innovations Corp. (WGHI) Partner Organizations: ZanaAfrica Group, Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) and WoMena

Tell us more about you: (750 character limit)

Women's Global Health Innovations is a social enterprise focused on the development and sustainable delivery of innovative menstrual, sexual and reproductive health products for adolescent girls and women globally but especially for those living in low- and middle-income countries. We are always seeking collaborators who share our values, human-centered design focus and mission to deliver the most life and health enhancing devices, to the most girls in the shortest period of time. As the founder of WGHI, my role is overall project management and team building. Team building and collaboration are essential to a project of this magnitude in order to strengthen our capacity to carry out tasks and responsibilities accountably and sustainably.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Women-led organization
  • International/global organization

Where will your idea be implemented? (200 character limit)

Our plan is to implement first in Uganda's Palorinya Refugee Settlement to measure and refine our programme model. Then via partnerships, we'll scale to other Sub-Saharan African and global countries.

What do you need to get started? (500 character limit)

To get started we need financial resources to enable approximately 6 months of material science research, prototype development, travel, and prototype production. Costs for country approval processes will be required. Human and intellectual support is needed to streamline programme development, to support and prepare for implementation and define specific M&E indicators. Physical space will be required in the various settings but these can be shared space or tarped tents common in most sites.

What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?

  • It is still in planning phase and does not exist yet.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organization Location (200 character limit)

Head office is in Toronto, Canada The Scientific Research Team is based at ESPCI Paris Research Institute in France Local Partners are currently in the Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and UK/Malawi

What is your organizational status?

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

What is the maturity of your innovation?

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Website

www.wghi.ca https://www.facebook.com/womensghi/ www.phauganda.org www.zanaafrica.com www.femmeinternational.org www.womena.dk

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Photo of ashley KOREE
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This program is helpful in promoting agricultural women. Through this program, they will grow in their knowledge and economic development. This program will prove to be very effective for women. If you want to receive a research paper on this program, you can order your research paper by going to this site: http://www.payforresearchpapers.com/. You can find more information about this program with the research papers written by this site writer.

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