Hygiene Products Laboratory

PROJECT IDEA: To set up a lab for the production of high quality toothpaste with fluoride and disinfectant soap with chlorhexidine, managed by a local sustainable enterprise.



PROJECT LOCATION: Nosy Komba, Antsiranana Province, Madagascar

SECTOR OF THE INTERVENTION: Health Care, Economic Development, Professional Training, Hygiene Awareness Campaign

START DATE: June 2015

There is poor oral health and hygiene on the island of Nosy Komba. Most residents must brush their teeth with leaves or with a poor quality toothpaste imported by Indonesia (which has been analysed by the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Turin). By the third decade of life, most people suffer from cavities and abscesses. Due to a hydroelectric turbine installed by the NGO Stefano Project in 2008, the village of Antintorona has electricity. This has enabled the construction of a laboratory to produce toothpaste and disinfectant soap. The pilot project began with a collaboration between H4O and A.P.P.A. project (Aid Progress Pharmacist Agreement), an NGO within the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Turin.

The aim of the project is to establish and expand a lab for the production of the first Made in Madagascar Toothpaste. This enables beneficiaries:

  • to reduce the number of oral cavities and gastrointestinal diseases
  • to switch to a quality product, locally made, at a competitive price

The Lab is also producing Disinfectant Soap which is supplied free of charge to the Public Hospital of the District of Nosy Be in order to:

  • improve the hygienic status of medical staff
  • reduce nosocomial diseases (hospital-acquired infections)

In the context of comprehensive development, the project aims:

  • to give competences and tools to a local team that will be able to produce, package and sell the products
  • to create new job positions for community members
  • to establish a local sustainable business
  • to facilitate expansion of the business

Hygiene education and promotion activities allow us to maximise the impact of the projects, raising awareness through children to reach all inhabitants of the island (see Hygiene Promotion interventions).

The project will target the whole archipelago of Nosy Be and Nosy Iranja. Currently, the toothpaste is being sold and distributed in all of the villages of Nosy Komba (around 5500 inhabitants) and Nosy Iranja (around 400). The disinfectant soap is supplied on a monthly basis to the medical staff (around 30 people) of the main public hospital of the district, which sees  44.000 patients per year.

This project also provides new employment opportunities to a team of 4 women.


  • 6 week training of local women in the scientific basis of communicable diseases
  • 3 month laboratory training of local women by an Italian pharmacist
  • Training of local women about supply, production processes and management of a sustainable enterprise
  • Selling toothpaste in villages on Nosy Komba
  • Supplying disinfectant soap to the public hospital free of charge
  • Oral and hand hygiene lessons in schools, taught by laboratory employees using teaching tools provided by H40
  • Hygiene Promotion in Schools with toothpaste donation (see Hygiene Promotion interventions)
  • Hygiene Promotion for school age children’s mothers (with toothpaste donation)

The pilot project, developed with the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Turin (Italy), identified the poor quality of the competitors’ toothpaste. Furthermore, a student from the University has developed a dissertation in order to develop the most appropriate toothpaste recipe.  


  • Pilot project developed with the faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Turin (Italy)
  • Pharmacy TsaraJoro, Nosy Be, Madagascar


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