The University of Pretoria Distributes Free Sanitary Products To Students

The University of Pretoria aims to support and preserve the dignity of its students through the distribution of free packs of sanitary products through its sanitary product drive.

In March 2021, the Student Health Services unit in the Department of Student Affairs at the University of Pretoria (UP) launched a sanitary product drive in response to students’ requests for assistance with free sanitary towels.

The University has since distributed more than 4 800 free packs of sanitary products through Student Health Services and 600 packs through UP student residences.

UP promoted the sanitary product drive through social media, websites, and word-of-mouth when students consulted nurses.

“Gender and human nature should not be barriers to academic performance,” said the President of UP’s Student Representative Council, Thuto Mashila.

She believes that those who menstruate should not be denied access to sanitary towels because they cannot afford them. On this she said:

The sanitary pad drive plays a crucial role in ending period poverty.

Students who do not have access to sanitary products are prone to health complications such as compromised hygiene and the onset of infections. Research has also shown that these students are likely to miss lectures, thus their academics and mental health may be negatively affected.

Administrative officer at Student Health Services, Phina Sokho says that it is a proud moment for UP as they are one of the first universities in the country to provide free sanitary products to students.

“It has become increasingly important that the provision of free pads be extended to higher education. We would like to thank Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe and Professor Themba Mosia, Vice-Principal: Student Life, for securing funding to make sure that all students are covered,” said Sokho.

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Students at UP can request a pack of sanitary pads by filling in a Google form as follows:

  • Click here.
  • Select your campus.
  •  Wait for an email containing a collection date, time, and place.

Students will receive a response via email from an administrator within 24 hours which will inform them of the date, time, and place for them to collect their free sanitary products.

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