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TOPIC: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya

Menstrual cups for women living with HIV/AIDS? 25 Sep 2011 20:48 #300

  • muench
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Dear all,

On the weekend, I read this interesting publication by USAID and WHO, which gave me another idea with regards to the menstrual cups:
How to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into HIV programmes(www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publ...548014/en/index.html)

There is an interesting chapter on menstruation management, pointing out the dangers of menstrual blood from HIV-infected women. Imagine the dangers of the care givers having to wash the rags. Perhaps again here, the menstrual cups could make the lives of the women living with HIV/AIDS and their care givers a whole lot easier? Has anyone explored this route yet and spoken to people in such programmes?

Here is the paragraph that got me thinking:

Menstruation management
Hygiene, disease and menstrual blood in HIV-infected women are not
discussed in the literature; only the grey (unpublished) literature and anecdotal
conversations between scientists and programme managers have covered this
topic. Before antiretroviral therapy (ART) became prevalent, women often
stopped menstruating once HIV had advanced. However, now that ART is
widely used even in resource-poor countries, women continue to menstruate,
which poses a hygiene challenge and possible risk of HIV transmission to
Menstrual blood of HIV-positive women contains the virus,
sometimes at a higher load than regular blood (Reichelderfer et al., 2000).
Thus, HIV-positive women and their caregivers must prevent HIV
transmission from menstrual blood by practising universal precautions.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @EvMuench
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)
Last Edit: 25 Sep 2011 20:50 by muench.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 29 Sep 2011 16:38 #334

  • Maxie
  • I have a passion for development through sustainable and fair business practices
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Hey Doreen and Elizabeth,

We are so happy for your moral support and interesting thoughts on the issue.
Currently, we are still waiting for all the documents to be in place but as soon as we have that, we can begin with our pilot.

I will consider the HIV issue you mentioned, Elizabeth, and the implications it could have for girls and women using the Ruby Cup.

Have a lovely evening!
Maxie Matthiessen
Co-Founder of Ruby Cup by Makit Ltd
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
+49 (0)176 2765 2953

Last Edit: 21 Jul 2014 15:09 by Maxie.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 19 Oct 2011 11:24 #416

  • tmsinnovation
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Hi Maxie

Do you have an update on how things are going? Perhaps what challenges you are facing?

Have you established a facebook page for Makit or Ruby Cups?

Hope all is going well.
Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 28 Oct 2011 13:26 #460

  • sabine
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After reading this interesting discussion I remeberd that a friend told me also about menstruation cups. She found them a lot cheaper (for 13 Euro) compared to the ones in Elisabeth's post. There are so many different designs, don't know how to decide what's the most comfortable....


But I'm sure there are also other companies.

Project Ingeneer
Kuster+Hager St. Gallen
Last Edit: 04 Nov 2011 10:32 by sabine.

Re: The Ruby cup business idea in Kenya 28 Oct 2011 15:30 #467

  • Sallyp
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(Note from Moderator: The reply to this post has been moved to a new thread, so as to split this conversation, due to the Ruby cup moving from a business idea to a growing business, here is the link: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-men...ences-from-kenya#710)


It is great that Kenyan women are interested in the menstrual cup. Were these mainly mature women who had borne children? Here in France, the younger women who use menstrual cups do it mainly for ecological reasons, so as not to add to the waste issue around disposable pads and tampons. They are well acquainted with their own anatomy and are generally politically aware women. Cups are available for purchase in organic shops, together with biodegradable pads made from organic cotton.

In Malawi, where I did my menstrual hygiene management research in secondary schools, the issues around virginity and general unfamiliarity with one’s own body could make menstrual cups problematic. I know that my girlfriends in Laos (even mothers) find the idea of tampons distressing and the menstrual cup, which one has to insert, generates the same reaction.

Lack of water for hand washing prior to insertion and for washing the cup afterwards is also problematic in schools and communities in both countries. Is hand washing with soap addressed and has it become normal practise, before introducing the use of the menstrual cup?

Kind regards,
Last Edit: 24 Jan 2013 21:05 by tmsinnovation.
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