What is an elective?
An elective is a one month placement undertaken by medical students to gain experience or exposure to a healthcare setting unfamiliar to the student. The content and setting of the placement is solely that of the student – hence the name ‘elective’. The general theme of our elective is ‘Health promotion in a rural setting’.
Medical students at Stellenbosch University are required to complete two elective modules. The first module was completed at the end of the fourth year MBChB curriculum. The second module is completed in the fifth year of study and commences on 3 July 2017 (ending on 28 July 2017).
Why are we doing it?
We believe that the cup is a permanent solution to embarrassment surrounding menstruation in young adolescent girls. Embarrassment leads to missing days at school. This happens every month. Tampons are not affordable in resource-deprived communities. Alternatives of rolling up newspaper or toilet paper are not effective and inevitably leads to infection.
Although a cup requires increased capital cost, as compared to tampons or pads, cups are a permanent solution and ‘pays for itself’ after buying an equivalent of five packs of tampons. The benefit is obvious!
We have access to corporate sponsorship in South Africa and are therefore confident to procure cups in large quantity. We believe the permanence of our solution renders the cause just.
We have approached a reputable Cape Town based manufacturer – MPower. The CEO of Mpower is Glenda Tutt and has stated her support for this project.
The following information is specific to the MPower cup:
Cost-effective. One cup is financially equivalent to 1200 pads.
Hygienic. Easy to clean as the tab is flat and the surface is smooth.
Convenient. Holds up to three times more fluid as compared to a tampon or pad – less frequent removal is required.
Comfortable. Available in two sizes (see below) and made with 100% flexible silicone. Suitable for an active lifestyle.
Environmentally friendly. Reduced need of tampon and pad disposal.
Can be used with an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD).