Soweto-based Entrepreneurs’ Innovative Medical Invention Helps Reduce Pain after Male Circumcision
The desperate need to find something to relieve the pain after his circumcision led to Musa Morgan inventing a medical device that now helps other initiates all over South Africa.
Morgan’s device, called Circumfort, is now being distributed at health centres and hospitals in Johannesburg and Pretoria, and even at several NGOs spread around the country.
Circumfort is manufactured in Orlando West in Soweto. It is specifically designed to reduce the pain that is experienced during the post operational wound treatment of recovery.
In August this year, the Stoelbag Foundation which was co-founded by Morgan, Lwazi Ntshangase and Nokubonga Dlamini, was awarded the Manufacturing Award and the Overall Township Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Gauteng Provincial Government.
Their main clients include doctors and nurses who are in the male circumcision industry and NGOs that perform circumcisions for free
Finding a solution
“Creating the product (Circumfort) was not difficult, as I was simply following the doctor’s instructions. He said: ‘Keep the penis elevated with this’ as he gave me the sticky tape,” explains Morgan. But, says Morgan, he knew that tape would fail, and it did!
“I got home and tried out some things, ended up with a string around my waist, and a sock around my penis. This worked very well. Even the doctor said so.”
At the time of creating his invention, Morgan was an engineering student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He collaborated with his business partner and fellow student, Lwazi Ntshangase.
“I had never invented anything like that before, but the schooling did help me to realise and refine my love for hand crafting. This made the inventive side come out more.”
He adds: “The underwear was not a product of love, unfortunately, but more of pain and desperation. I knew I had to make one for myself so that I could get on with life.”
Morgan says the university helped him a lot. “After the invention was created we registered it and our online ads website into a CPUT Innovation competition.
“The Circumfort won first prize, and a cash prize. The Technology transfer office then helped with the patenting for a small royalty fee. This patent has been highly beneficial in protecting the Intellectual Property for the company,” says Morgan.
#ThePlayRoom We are joined by Mr Musa Joy Morgan & Miss Nokubonga Pearl Dlamini Both are directors of Circumfort. They are 100% black youth owned company that invented, manufactures and distributes a medical assistive device “Circumfort”@Circumfort_ZA @JadeZwane & @HakeemAndrsn pic.twitter.com/0tj5rKGzGh
— Touch HD (@TouchHDOnline) March 15, 2018
Going into business
According to Morgan, their research went first into a market study. “(We had) to figure out how big a market we had (the) potential to access, and what similar products exist.
“Once that was done we went into fabric research to find the best materials for the medical requirements of the product. From there we researched directly with the market, where we gave free samples for feedback and product modification based on feedback,” he explains.
In 2017 they gave away free samples at conferences and exhibitions they attended. “In 2018 we did more aggressive marketing where we gave clients in the medical industry 20 free samples each to trial with, and then the following orders would be purchased,” he says.
“We believed that the best way to test the product and for the prospective clients to see the value in Circumfort; we would need to give them their own for free and to test the reliability of the product.”
Morgan says their main clients include doctors and nurses who are in the male circumcision industry and NGOs that perform circumcisions for free. “Individuals are welcome to purchase Circumfort over the counter.”
Circumfort is sold at R30 per unit. It takes approximately eight minutes per unit to be manufactured.
Morgan says he is motivated by growth. “I enjoy seeing the drive people have to achieve something. I like to see the change I make in the lives of the people in the community.”
He adds: “I have a passion for business because when we work together in a team with people towards a goal, then I begin to have more drive.”