Grand Challenges

Deadline Date – 22-Apr-2020

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently accepting proposals for the Round 25 of the Grand Challenges Exploration (GCE) on the topic of “Innovations in Materials Science for a Transformative Menstrual Health and Hygiene Product”. Fundamental changes in menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) products are needed to meet the needs of women and girls in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) who face challenges with regard to their overall menstrual health and to managing their menstrual periods with dignity. Women and girls in LMIC face significant challenges barriers related to MHH from menarche to menopause. Current literature, while limited, shows an association between inadequate access to MHH products and poorer physical and mental health outcomes. In Ethiopia, for example, only 28% of women and girls reported having “everything they need” to manage their menstruation. Globally, based on data collected from 8 countries in PMA 2020 (Performance Monitoring for Action, 2020), it is estimated that 528 million women and girls are lacking what they need for basic MHH care.