Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Manamela today paid a visit to the Coastal College Skills Training Centre in Hammersdale, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
At the College, students have been manufacturing low cost sanitary towels to respond to the demand for quality, locally manufactured and affordable sanitary towels by women in the province.
Higher Education and Training Health, Wellness and Development Centre's CEO Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia, accompanied the Deputy Minister to the Centre, which now trains young people from the community who would also become distributors of the sanitary towels through cooperatives.
It has been widely reported that that young girls, between the ages of 12 and 18 years, have resorted to using old clothes, rags, newspapers, leaves, bark, grass among others, because they cannot afford sanitary towels.
The use of these substitutes exposes the young women to serious health risks such as rashes and infections such as thrush, amongst other vaginal and urinary tract infections. If untreated, which is often the case, it leads to candida and a host of other fungal infections.
"As such, young women are often forced to miss classes, this impacting on their educational outcomes as well" Deputy Minister Manamela said.
He further said that the low cost, SABS approved sanitary towels are locally produced by TVET college students and have the potential to make a difference to students who are not able to afford sanitary towels.
"This is an example of optimal use of relevant resources to provide innovative training using leading technology to skill a diverse community and to manufacture quality products at the lowest possible price" he said.
Issued by: Department of Higher Education and Training