New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Twenty five-year-old Kamakshi is happy that she no longer suffers from a urinary tract infection (UTI) usually caused by using dirty toilets in her office – thanks to peebuddy, a one-time-use affordable device that enables women to urinate while standing.
Initially it was a moment of awkwardness as most of her female friends would mock her, but after observing the advantage of the device they too started using it and were happy with the outcome. A pack of five costs Rs.120, with the price reduced for larger packs.
Peebuddy, which has already been tested among 60 percent of women in the urban and rural areas of the Delhi NCR, is highly beneficial for pregnant women and arthritis patients who are advised by their doctors to restrict their body movements. The device is more reliable as it is discharged after one use – preventing any chance of bacteria accumulation if used a second time.
According to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), only 20 percent of men suffer from UTI or any other infections in comparison to women, whose UTI percentage stands at 80. Doctors say that the major reason for the low UTI among men is because they stand and urinate, a step where there is no direct contact between the penis and the toilet seats, unlike the case with women, who get directly infected.
“With Peebuddy, women can stand and pee. They just need to place it between the flow area (no insertion is required) and urinate. This way they can stay away from infections. On a different note, it is also useful because many times, due to dirty toilets, women hold their urine for a long time, which is a major reason for kidney stones,” Peebuddy founder Deep Bajaj told IANS.
Bajaj said negotiations are on with the government to popularise the product in the rural areas, where there is low awareness about UTI and other infections.
“We appreciate such initiatives, but until we get to know the thorough concept… we cannot say anything. We will think over if the product is discussed with us,” Additional Health Secretary C.K Mishra told IANS.
The device is made of lightly-coated paper to make it “reliable” and easy for use, Bajaj explained.
The initial dilemma was to decide if a plastic material (which could be re-used) should be used or a disposable one. “Though we wanted to make the material of plastic, we chose to make it of a disposable material after speaking to young working women and a few athletes,” Bajaj said, adding that the initial product was given to over 80 percent of women in the rural and urban areas of Delhi and NCR areas.
Peebuddy is available in the market at a base price of Rs.120 for a pack of five, Rs. 200 for pack of 10 and Rs.375 for the pack of 20.
Bajaj also said the device can be used by females of any age group, including schoolgirls, as the current size is universal and works for all those above eight years. Soon, a device for even younger girls would be developed.
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at Rupesh.firstname.lastname@example.org)