Volunteers turn out DIY face shields to plug shortage

Medical staff at government hospitals are required to wear face shields, masks, gloves, gowns and boots when they treat Covid-19 patients. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Housewives and university students are among those who have responded to help overcome a shortage of protective equipment for those on the front line of the Covid-19 crisis.

In Machang, Kelantan, a group of staff and students of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) assisted by members of the public, have raised funds and produced 800 do-it-yourself face shields.

UiTM Kelantan rector Assoc Prof Dr Zulkifli Mohamed said about 800 face shields were produced through the first phase of the programme held over four days.

“Among the hospitals or health clinics that have received the contribution include the Labok Health Clinic, the Machang Hospital, and the Kuala Krai Hospital and these premises were selected as they provide screening services for the virus as well as treatments for Covid-19 patients,” he said.

In Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, a group of five housewives have made good use of the time during the national shutdown by making protective gear after learning about the shortage.

Siti Aishah Johari, chairman of Bayt Assayyidah Khadeejah Al Kubro, said the group had distributed food aid to ‘asnaf’ and the poor in the initial stages of the shutdown. But as more people had started doing the same, they began looking for other initiatives.

“So far, 300 face shields have been made and distributed to the Senawang Health Clinic, while some 800 pieces have not been completed as we ran out of some of the material.

“In order to make the face shield, we need materials such as sponges, A4-sized plastic, double-sided tape and string, but we are currently running out of material, especially sponges, so we have to wait before we can produce more,” she said when contacted.

Siti Aishah said anyone who wished to help could make a donation to ‘Baitul Khadeejah Al Kubro’ Bank Islam account (05067010013108).

The Negeri Sembilan Community Development Department (Kemas) said it was also ready to assist in the production of personal protective equipment for the health ministry.

State Kemas director Muhamad Abu Bakar said so far, the department was still awaiting instructions and approval for its 26 sewing division staff to begin making the equipment.