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Promoting a healthy lifestyle 

2021-12-08  Staff Reporter

Promoting a healthy lifestyle 
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Terence Mukasa

When Iyaloo Nambuwa’s younger sister introduced her to the menstrual cup, she didn’t care much about it until recently, when she saw how convenient it was for her sister to reuse it every month, instead of buying sanitary pads.

“This, coupled with so many disheartening stories of girls missing school because they cannot afford pads, using makeshift devices like toilet paper or old rags and drinking herbal concoctions in an attempt to stop menstruating, led to the birth of the Petwa menstrual cups,” she told Youth Corner.  A menstrual cup is a hygienic, bell-shaped cup made of flexible medical grade silicone and is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to catch the menstrual fluid. 

Nambuwa (30), who is the co-owner and founder of Petwa Foundation, then decided to also start supplying the menstrual cups locally in an effort to help women and young girls cope with heavy menstruation bleeding.

Recently, the Petwa Foundation, established in 2020, received a donation of N$30 000 from South African Servier Laboratories to boost medications in the outreach programs in Namibia.

The donation jumpstarted the production of more menstrual cups. Another member of Petwa Foundation, Patricia Amoomo told Youth Corner that menstrual cups are safe because they hold and collect the blood instead of absorbing it, which can cause TSS (toxic shock syndrome). Amoomo (31) added that the cups are non-leaking, which provides comfort and confidence. 

“The cups can hold quite a lot of blood, so women don’t have to change them out too often, disrupting their activities/schedules,” she said.

Unlike the disposable pads that are discarded immediately after use, a menstrual cup is reusable for up to 10 years. This will result in a reduction of waste generation and there will be considerable savings from buying them every month.

“Petwa Foundation aims to promote a healthy lifestyle, provide health services and financial assistance for disadvantaged communities as well as conduct fundraising activities to carry out the objectives of the foundation,” Nambuwa added.

“I knew from a young age that I wanted to do something that benefits others directly at all cost,” she said, adding that she was encouraged by her mother who worked hard and persevered despite all the challenges that she faced. 

The desire to become a doctor came into Nambuwa’s mind when she witnessed how the medical personnel assisted her mother in battling and then defeating breast cancer, and in 2015, she graduated from the University of Pretoria with a bachelor degree in medicine and surgery.

“I was in awe at how they observed my mother and they inferred that the pain she felt in her breast was due to a cancerous mass, that it could be removed, and that she would still be around, cheering me on years later,” said Nambuwa.

2021-12-08  Staff Reporter

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