SAVE THE CHILDREN IS SPEARHEADING LOCAL INITIATIVES THAT SEEK TO PRODUCE REUSABLE FACE MASKS IN SOMALIA

Thursday 7 May 2020

SAVE THE CHILDREN IS SPEARHEADING LOCAL INITIATIVES THAT SEEK TO PRODUCE REUSABLE FACE MASKS IN SOMALIA

“We hope to play a role in containing the spread of the virus, while at the same time creating employment for our young people” Says Ahmed Omar Ibrahim, Area Representative for Save the Children Somalia

 A Save the Children-supported local initiative in Mogadishu is creating hope for thousands of people by producing reusable facemasks to assist in containing the outbreak of COVID-19 in Somalia

It's a busy day in one of the vocational Institutes in downtown Mogadishu, Somalia. Hafsa and many of her collogues are on a mission to save lives as Corona virus infections continue to rise in the country. Their task is to make thousands of reusable face masks to tackle the nationwide shortage of face masks.

 “I have worked on 30 pieces so far. We make sure we use the right material in order to protect people who makes a material light but effective enough to make sure it blocks any transmission of the virus” says Hafsa.

As part of BMZ-funded Skills Training Program, the center previously trained vulnerable members of the society including displaced persons on garment making and fashion designs with the objective of building resilience among communities. The project is being implemented by humanitarian agency, Save the Children.

“We have activated a total 25 people, 10 men and 15 females who got trained in garment making and fashion design. They received their diplomas here and due to COVID-19 they have stopped other activities to make face masks in order to save lives” says Abdulkadir Osman Abdulle, Program Manager at Kaashif Development Initiative. 

The country's Corona virus cases are going up with more deaths recorded than recoveries. Few people wear face masks while social distancing measures are yet to take effect in the country. Meanwhile, prices of surgical masks and other hygiene products have gone up in Somalia meaning majority cannot afford to buy them. 

Reusable face mask could save thousands of lives in Somalia with the country having one of the weakest health infrastructures in the region.

“in our first trial we came up with 1500 to 2000 face masks in one day. We distribute them to vulnerable people in the society, government agencies and sometimes we allow those making them to earn a living by selling them at a reduced price. We hope to play a role in containing the spread of the virus, at the same time creating employment for our young people” says Ahmed Omar Ibrahim, Area Representative for Save the Children Somalia

Once completed, the face masks are package ready to be distributed. Hafsa says “saving people's lives is more important now” and vows to increase production enough to help contain the spread of 19 infections.

 

Story first reported by CGTN Africa

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