Hygiene: PATH’s innovative technology solutions promote hygiene

Hand wash station

Hand washing with soap is proven to reduce pneumonia and diarrheal disease by up to 40%. Dedicated, appropriate hand washing stations have been shown to improve hand washing behavior change significantly.  Our product concept is extremely low cost, folds flat, can be deployed in seconds, and offers an excellent hand washing experience. Informal evaluation with sector experts and adult and child users in three countries shows a very high acceptance level for our design concept. See fact sheet for more information.

Menstrual health

Globally, there is growing recognition that inadequate understanding of menstruation and a lack of menstrual care resources contributes to the perpetuation of traditional gender roles and inequalities in women and girls’ health and development. This project aims to identify features of the SILCS diaphragm and existing menstrual cups to improve the ease of use and acceptability of this potentially transformative product, which has only recently become available in low-resource settings. Our review of literature and of online user forums suggests that there are still challenges with leaking, fit, insertion, removal, cleaning, and affordability among the products currently on the market.

The goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of the technical feasibility, acceptability, and manufacturer receptivity to using the SILCS diaphragm as the basis for a radically different menstrual cup design to address user needs. A secondary focus will be to build upon PATH Innovation Fund research on antimicrobial metals as a potential mechanism to improve cleanability of cups, and in turn, to prevent vaginal infections and their related negative health outcomes.