Menstrual Cups Market Accessibility Project
In January, WoMena started the Menstrual Cups Market Accessibility Project (MCMAP). The aim of this project is to test different pricing and payment models for menstrual cups and find a model that enables the cups to be sold at a subsidised rate rather than distributed solely through donations. Currently, several partners are being trained and distribute the menstrual cups. Then, the project team will schedule follow up visits with the partners that already carry out the sales of the cups. This will help WoMena to understand which selling and promotion methods are working, and which are not. We are planning to launch WoMena’s social marketing activities across all the partners and commence partner-specific social marketing activities. Some of them are already in progress.
Training Marie Stopes Uganda Staff
Marie Stopes Uganda (MSU) is one of our partners. It has a large network of 15 regional clinics across Uganda, is well-known and trusted by people. The menstrual cups for sale will be introduced in 5 MSU clinics located in Arua, Gulu, Tororo, Kabale, and Bweyogerere in Wakiso district in Uganda. WoMena has already trained the central managers, and each of the clinics received 4 menstrual cups for their staff to try. Yet, it is of vital importance that the staff in each clinic is also trained. “They need to understand the product well enough to be able to sell it successfully”, says Laura, WoMena project manager. “The greater risk is also whether they will provide incorrect information. Even if they are able to get people to purchase the cups, it may have adverse impact on the reputation of the menstrual cup, and, further on, impact sales adversely, and potentially lead to those women not using it correctly.”, Laura, WoMena project manager.
On the 5th of April, the first MSU clinic staff training was held in Bweyogerere. Training the clinic staff is challenging as MSU is always busy. The staff came to the training room in-between their shifts to receive the introduction to the menstrual cup, see how to use it and discuss when the best opportunity to sell the menstrual cup would be. They received handouts with information and most frequently asked questions about the menstrual cup. The staff showed high interest in menstrual cups and had many questions.
Toll Free Hotline
MSU has a toll free hot line operating in 16 local Ugandan languages and provides counselling on sexual reproductive health. WoMena has also trained the hotline staff on menstrual cups, discussed with them the most frequently asked questions and provided the menstrual cups to try. Already today, people can call the toll free hotline, ask about the menstrual cup, and share any concerns they have. The calls will be logged in and used to improve the support for the menstrual cup users and provide a better information about the cup. All of the MCMAP posters and flyers will have the MSU hotline number. The project partners agreed to share this information and encourage people to call the hotline if they had any concerns. Since the hotline operates in so many local languages, the menstrual cup and its support can be promoted across the country.
Blog Author: Simona Simkute
Simona is part of WoMena’s Research and Communication team. She holds an MA degree in Sociology and Anthropology and has previously done some research in Iran. Currently, she is working on the Menstrual Cup Follow up study in Uganda and writes updates on WoMena’s activities.