SAZ Launches Reusable Sanitary Pads Standard

THE Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) has introduced a new standard, ZWS 1023 which will facilitate the production of quality and safe reusable pads in the country, HealthTimes has learnt.

By Michael Gwarisa

In an interview with HealthTimes, SAZ Standards Development Manager, Ms Romana  Marunda said this standard covers the manufacturing and performance requirements for sanitary pads.

“The national standards ZWS 1023: Reusable sanitary pads was developed by a technical committee composed of several stakeholders. It outlines:  general requirements for factories and employees manufacturing sanitary pads, requirements for sanitary pads such as materials, protective barriers, workmanship and finish, microbiology requirements to ensure sterility, performance requirements including absorbency rate, and capacity.

“These requirements when applied can facilitate the production of quality and safe sanitary pads. Reusable pads are made out of highly absorbent fabrics and can be washed, dried and reused, and shall last for a minimum of 30 washes without compromising on their performance,” said Ms Marunda.

She however added that they have not yet certified any manufacturer to this standard.

“During the development of the standard some samples were collected from manufacturers in the committee and were tested to provide data for some parameters in the standard. Our Chemical and Food Technology laboratory has the capacity to test these pads and have carried out some test on samples received from manufactures.”

Meanwhile, a number of companies and local Non-Governmental organisations have of late been training communities and girls to make their own reusable sanitary pads so as to address the challenges most girls from vulnerable communities face during their menstrual cycles.

The project to develop a standard on reusable pads was initiated from within a technical committee that was reviewing an existing standard ZWS 730:

Ms Marunda also applauded the initiative by local organsiations to introduce reusable sanitary pads in the country.

“The Manufacturing of sanitary pads. SAZ supported this work as it would go a long way to address issues surroundings menstrual management such as high cost of sanitary ware, use of unorthodox and unhygienic methods.

“It is envisaged that the standard will be used by sanitary pads manufactures, inspectors in the regulatory domain to ensure that sanitary ware is manufactured in suitable conditions to protect the health of women, and girls. – Organisation such as NGOs providing sanitary ware. -Retailers of sanitary ware as product specifications for purchasing purposes. – Women empowerment groups for sanitary ware making projects within communities,” she said.

Organisations like Nduna among others have been spearheading the training of communities to make reusable sanitary pads.





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