As the world decries the shortage of medical and surgical face masks for the use of frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan Chapter, ASUU, UI, has on Sunday unveiled 3,000 treated face masks it produced to be distributed to its members and some frontline workers.
Speaking at the public presentation of the facemasks, the Chairman, ASUU, UI, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, said the effort took about 17 days of intensive research into an internationally accepted standard of materials for making the masks, which was done from start to finish by members of the Union.
He stated that the effort is the second leg of measures put in place by the Union for its members in the fight against the spread of the virus, recounting that hand sanitizers had earlier been produced and distributed to members and frontline workers, especially healthcare workers and journalists, across the State some weeks earlier.
Akinwole, who was flanked by Dr Dapo Okareh, Chairman, ASUU-UI Treated Cotton Face masks Production Committee and Dr Sola Omoregie, Secretary, ASUU, UI, explained that the ASUU-UI treated cotton face masks would ensure that her members are protected from the infection and reduce the pressure on the demand for imported surgical/medical face masks which has even gone beyond reach in terms of cost and supply.
Noting that members of the Union had been playing major roles in the fight against COVID-19 in various capacities at the state and national levels, the ASUU, UI Boss affirmed that the masks would be distributed to its members who live in various communities to protect them and prevent them from community transmission of COVID-19 when they are in the public.
He lamented that the government was not doing enough to protect frontline workers from being infected and urged both the state and federal governments to do more.
Akinwole noted that, as a union of intellectuals, the Union cannot allow her members to purchase and use masks freely sold on the streets, majority of which failed to follow international standards of producing face masks, hence the production of the masks, which are reusable and met all the specifications and standard of medical and surgical masks.
While speaking on the efforts put in place to produce the masks, the Chairman, ASUU-UI Treated Cotton Face Masks Production Committee, Dr Okareh, explained that the Committee utilised cotton fabric, absorbent, cello filter, organofilter, liner, pearls and other materials.
Dr Okareh, who noted that it was better to use face masks than a ventilator, urged academic staff to adhere strictly to advisory and use the produced treated face masks, which has laid down procedure for treatment after use for healthy and safe reuse, to prevent them from being infected.
Source: Voice of Nigeria