As the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, increases throughout Africa, and with health officials recommending individuals wear masks in public, Africans, from west to south to refugees in South Korea, are making masks to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
The government of Zimbabwe has turned to its higher institutions with engineering and technology capacity, to combat COVID-19. Zimbabwe’s universities, located in various provinces around the country, are not only making protective masks, but they’re also manufacturing and supplying hand sanitizers, gloves and other personal protective clothing to clinics, hospitals and security personnel in those provinces, to meet local demands as well as meet the standards of WHO and Standards Association of Zimbabwe. The university, geared to beat the coronavirus, is “producing more than 2000 masks per day and already supplied around 5,000 masks to several health institution with more orders from public health facilities and big businesses”.
Oakland-based Nigerian entrepreneur Lola, is founder of a local African clothing boutique called Lola’s African Apparel. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Lola was one of the first small businesses in the Bay Area to make Ankara face masks for use as protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.
In South Korea, when the country struggled with a shortage of protective face masks, a group of African refugees in the country stepped up to “share the burden and show Koreans that they are standing by them to combat COVID-19 together as one.” They’re making cotton face masks out of materials they already have and with the help of Global Hope, a non-governmental organization, to give away to people in need. They plan to continue this work until the COVID-19 outbreaks dies down.
“Actually, we live in South Korea and South Koreans have been so good to us more especially to our community,” the group said. “We decided that it would be good if we made masks by our hands and donate to South Koreans.”
In Liberia, youth leader Humpheretta Reid of Liberia Initiative for Empowerment, inspired by the various masks being made around the world, is creating the “African version” of protective masks with African prints.
“We have almost all we need to fight this virus,” said Reid. “We just need to think out of the box, be more creative, make use of what we have and believe that this coronavirus is real.”
Here is a DIY tutorials, instructions on how to make masks and shields in just a few simple steps.