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A Rwandan social entrepreneur focused on improving reproductive, maternal and child health in Africa.

Shared by Marta Fonseca on 2024-04-30 13:18

About the solution

Social stigmas and cultural taboos surrounding menstruation exacerbate the issue of girls and women missing school and work in Rwanda. According to research conducted in 2016 by Sustainable Health Enterprises, 18% of women and girls in Rwanda are unable to attend work or school because they cannot afford menstrual pads. The repercussions of this silenced discourse on women's bodies and the consequent absenteeism from school during menstruation have been further heightened by the pandemic. The combined impact of these factors poses a threat to girls' life opportunities, leading to decreased academic performance, reduced confidence, higher rates of grade repetition, increased risk of pregnancy, and dropout rates. These outcomes, in turn, have adverse effects on women's health and economic growth.

Blandine Umuziranenge, the founder and CEO of Kosmotive, established the social enterprise in 2014 with the aim of enhancing Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health across Rwanda and Africa as a whole. Kosmotive's mission is to expand access to menstrual, maternal, and child health information and products, as well as healthcare services, to underserved populations.
Through initiatives such as Cosmos Magazine, the KosmoHealth App and Helpline, as well as the provision of empowerment tools like the KosmoWearables collection of maternity and nursing wear, and the KosmoPads reusable sanitary pads, Kosmotive champions feminine liberation despite menstrual challenges.

KosmoPads, being eco-friendly, cost-effective, and reusable, offer underprivileged girls the opportunity to remain in school throughout the year without missing classes during their menstrual cycles.
"As girls and women break the silence about menstruation and benefit financially from making and selling pads, they come to see their periods as a source of pride and power. With KosmoPads, we are investing in girls’ education, women’s health and the planet; one pad at a time!" explains Blandine.

For more informations: https://kosmotive.rw
Adapted from: https://www.lionessesofafrica.com/blog/2023/10/15/startup-story-of-bland...

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Blandine Umuziranenge, the CEO and founder of Kosmotive, established the social enterprise in 2014 with the aim of enhancing Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health across Rwanda and beyond in Africa. Early in her career she worked at Rwanda Broadcasting Agency and Contact FM radio. She holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management, a bachelor’s degree in business information and communication technology and an Advanced Diploma in Information Technology.

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