Pads from sugarcane

A UGANDAN START-UP IS PRODUCING AFFORDABLE SANITARY PADS FROM SUGARCANE

First, I don't exactly sugarcane, but after reading this story up and now writing it, i'm sure I've had my last taste of it.

Many girls cannot afford the sanitary pads on the market. When you go to schools you will be surprised to know that some will miss school because they are going through their menstrual periods, the four days of their menstrual periods, they do not have the right materials to use, they are so embarrassed in public because they will stain their dressed and everyone will laugh at them so they choose to stay at home.
— CO-FOUNDER, ECO SMART PADS

Following the recent price hike, one thing that no female took kindly to, was the increased purchase value attached to sanitary pads. Like it is not hard enough that I have to bleed for about week because once again I chose to not get pregnant, but now i'd pay a lot more money to go through unwanted pain. Fix it mother-nature. Fortunately for me I can still grudgingly pay for it, but what of the million other teenage girls with barely enough money to get by, having this one extra worry added  to their cart? It is on this premise that a Ugandan start-up company opted for a cheaper method of production for sanitary pads. 

pads 2.jpg

 Eco Smart pads is a startup working to create a more affordable alternative brand of pads from sugarcane to help girls stay in school. Sugarcane fibers, are a low-cost, absorbent alternative. They boil the sugarcane residue to remove the sugar content and to soften it, the dried fiber is then used to fashion out sanitary pads. Eco Smart pads are reusable for up to 12 months, and they last up to 9 hours before they need changing. These pads are biodegradable, and hence safe for the environment. 

Team ECO Smart Pad are trying to keep girls in school by producing cheap Pads made from recycling sugarcane residues. #UpAccelerate

The UN estimates that one in ten girls in sub-Saharan Africa do not attend school during menstruation. This causes them to lag behind in their education, and even drop out of school entirely, creating negative long-term consequences. In the advent of this innovation, the Eco Smart company recently won a grant of 10,000 US dollars in a competition that supports entrepreneurs seeking to address sexual reproductive health challenges.

 

Puff, Puff, Pass!

Puff, Puff, Pass!

From a new study conducted by BMJ Journal from over 160,000 people spanning 15 years. Although it didn’t address whether e-cigs are luring people who would otherwise be nonsmokers, but it did find that e-cigs do have a role in helping people quit. The researchers looked at several population surveys that cover the years 2001 to 2015. These surveys provided smoking-cessation rates, and the most recent survey, from 2014 to 2015, had information about e-cigarette usage. 

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Drink Diabetes Away

STUDY SHOWS THAT REGULAR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL CAN CUT THE RISK OF DIABETES

LOL, WOW! So after all the "don't take sugar, don't drink alcohol" this is where it has finally ended, I mean I don't take alcohol for no reason other than it tastes weird to me, except maybe white wine, but you know this is a permanent medical pass to turn up and get lit especially since it's the weekend. Hold on though, it says just about three to four times a week with a moderate; 

“Drinking a moderate amount of certain drinks such as wine three to four times a week reduced diabetes risk by about 30%”

Consuming alcohol three or four days a week was associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes – a 27% reduction in men and a 32% reduction in women – compared with abstaining, scientists found. Wine was considered particularly beneficial, probably because it has chemical compounds that improve blood sugar balance, researchers in Denmark found. Gin could have the opposite effect, along with other spirits, increasing women’s chances of getting diabetes by 83%. Experts said the findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, should not be seen as a green light to drink more than existing NHS guidelines suggest.

The authors of the research, led by Prof Janne Tolstrup from the University of Southern Denmark, wrote: “Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over three to four weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.” 

Scientists studied data on 70,551 men and women who took part in a Danish survey. Respondents were quizzed about their drinking habits and monitored for five years.

Afterwards, participants were followed up and 859 men and 887 women had developed diabetes. The investigation did not distinguish between the two forms of diabetes, type 1 and the much more common type 2 . For both genders, seven glasses of wine a week lowered the risk of diabetes by 25% to 30% compared with having less than one glass. Drinking beer seemed to affect men and women differently. Men who drank one to six glasses of beer a week saw their chances of getting diabetes lowered by 21%, compared with men who drank less than one a week. There was no impact on women’s risk.

Dr Emily Burns, the head of research communications at Diabetes UK, said: “While these findings are interesting, we wouldn’t recommend people see them as a green light to drink in excess of the existing NHS guidelines, especially as the impact of regular alcohol consumption on the risk of type 2 will be different from one person to the next.”

Guidelines suggest that men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. That equates to about six pints of beer. It should be consumed over the course of three days or more, with some days of abstinence.
Burns said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, and around three in five cases can be prevented or delayed by eating healthily, moving more and losing weight if you’re overweight. If you’re worried about your risk of developing the condition, we’d advise you to speak to a healthcare professional.”

Well you know in all you still have to consume in moderation or like they say, "drink responsibly". 

 

Source: Guardian.com

 

 

 

Girls fly to Google to stop 'the cut'

FIVE SCHOOL GIRLS AGED 15-17WHO WANT TO BE KNOWN AS "RESTORES" HAVE TURNED OUT TO BE THE ONLY AFRICANS WHO WERE INVITED TO GOOGLE HEADQUARTERS FOR TECHNOVATION, TO WIN A FIFTEEN-THOUSAND-DOLLAR PRIZE FOR iCut, AN APP TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.

T-shirt worn by a gentleman during a social event advocating against the practice at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016.

T-shirt worn by a gentleman during a social event advocating against the practice at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016.

The power and positive effect of Technology cannot be over-emphasized. Human life has been made a lot easier and if possible longer because of the innovative ideas that have been birthed- all thanks to all those with future-thinking mindset. Speaking in relation to this write-up it has been announced that five Kenyan teenage girls burdened with a major health and gender problem in their community have built an app to solve that problem - Female Genital Mutilation.

FGM which is a violation of the human rights of girls and women is still been practiced in many countries today despite the enormous awareness that has been made to curb the practice. According to World Health Organisation, Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women and can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, infections, complications in childbirth, increased risk of newborn and other health complications. This act is carried out on females between infancy and the age of 15.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) writes on their website;

An estimated 200 million girls and women alive today are believed to have been subjected to FGM; but rates of FGM are increasing, a reflection of global population growth. Girls and women who have undergone FGM live predominately in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States, but FGM is also practiced in select countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. It is also practiced among migrant populations throughout Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
A key challenge is not only protecting girls who are currently at risk but also ensuring that those to be born in the future will be free from the dangers of the practice. This is especially important considering that FGM-concentrated countries are generally experiencing high population growth and have large youth populations. In 2010, for example, more than 45 per cent of the female populations in the Gambia, Mali, Somalia and Uganda were under age 15.
— http://www.unfpa.org/resources/female-genital-mutilation-fgm-frequently-asked-questions

According to the makers of iCut app, "FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve. This whole experience will change our lives. Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better. We call ourselves "Restorers"  because we want to restore hope to hopeless girls," 

They continued by revealing that "Although our community does not practice FGM, we have friends who have been cut. "We were very close to one of them, but after she was cut she never came back to school," and she was among the smartest girls we knew."

iCut app is a simple interface which has five buttons - help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback — offering users different services.

Technovation offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Girls ages 10 to 18 learn to identify a problem in their community and create a mobile app solution to address that problem, and then learn how to communicate these ideas and translate them into a fully launched business. The 2017 season was launched in partnership with Google's Made with Code and UN Women. 

Africa has had incredible problem solving innovative ideas which have been birthed but it still stands that there are more problems which with the help of technology, can be solved. We hereby, call on tech experts, both young and old, male or female to come up with such to help with both natural and man made problems.

This is creativity at a very incredible level. We do hope that they win the prize.

All the best "Restores." 

The growth of a Nigerian-inspired snack empire

CHIKA RUSSELL'S NIGERIAN-INSPIRED HEALTHY SNACKS COMPANY IS NOW WORTH OVER 1 MILLION POUNDS

*checks on account balance and sobs*

I started this company after returning from a trip to West Africa, I came back with one belief, that in order to make a meaningful change in those communities, every child should have access to education, and we are committed to helping make that possible. I am not a charity, I am instead an avid believer of sharing; knowledge, passion, profits, entrepreneurship, ideas and love. It is the only way to grow positive behaviours and changes.

After turning down a $30,000 investment deal from Dragon's den panelist, Peter Jones; the 31-year-old Nigerian mother of two (Chialuka-5 and Zanni-4) went on to  build an empire worth over a million pounds that rests on her experience growing up in Anambra State, Nigeria. Her business empire produces a healthier alternative to hand cooked plantain, hand cooked chilli, blackpepper cashews, smoked almonds, hand toasted peanuts with skin, hand toasted peanuts without skin, chickpea crisps- chilli and chickpea crisps- spiced. 

I really wanted Peter Jones because of what he did with Reggae Reggae Sauce, but so much happened in the six weeks of due diligence. I hadn’t called it a business before. [Then I was] able to say, I have belief in myself.
I really wanted a mentor for guidance and partnership, and to help grow the business. I wanted someone who had been there and made the mistakes. Waitrose were coming on board and Boots had expressed an interest. I thought: “This could be global”. But I like a challenge, and felt if I had Peter Jones on board, then if Sainsbury’s showed interest I would have thought it was due to him. It wouldn’t be as rewarding.

Chika told FEMAIL: 'These are the foods of my childhood in Nigeria and I wanted people in the UK to experience the same great flavours that I got to enjoy growing up.' She started by rustling up snacks in her kitchen and testing them on friends and family. She then went about refining the flavours based on feedback. The products were already stocked in 150 outlets in the UK in just a year. 'I know what I'm doing. I'm already doing it - but I can do it better. And with your partnership, Chika's can become an even more successfull business and brand.'