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President’s Award Researchers Want to Change the Standard of Refugee Health

Nov 20, 2019

While sanitation is widely considered a human right by many global organizations, menstruation is often overlooked as a major issue facing people in humanitarian crises. A team of UT students and professors is focused on changing that.

The  Hygiene, Empowerment, and Research for Social Impact (HERS) team is one of seven recipients of the 2018-2019 President’s Award For Global Learning. Representing the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts, College of Natural Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Cockrell School of Engineering, four students and three faculty have spent the past year creating a portable machine that produces menstrual pads on-site to help displaced populations with restricted access to menstrual products.

The team took their research to Lebanon in summer 2019 to implement their project. Social work major Kathryn Taylor said she hopes the project is part of a larger conversation about human rights.

“Our goal goes beyond just making disposable menstrual pads,” Taylor said. “We hope to bring more light back to what menstruation is in people’s lives and how it affects populations that have been displaced because of a humanitarian crisis.”

Read more about the team’s project in an article from the School of Social Work.

The  Hygiene, Empowerment, and Research for Social Impact (HERS) team. From left to right: Edith Muleiro, Kathryn Taylor, Ishani Chakravarty, Priya Ramamoorthy, Dr. Janet Ellzey.

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