It has been roughly a year since the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus was discovered in Wuhan, China. The year has taken a mental, physical, emotional, and economic toll on the world, and we are all still grappling with the many ways the pandemic has affected our lives.
Two weeks ago, Nigeria recorded its highest-ever infection rate in a single day since COVID-19 broke out in Nigeria 1,145. But there is hope with the vaccine fully developed and distributed in a number of countries in other parts of the world, the Nigerian Health Ministry is hopeful that Nigeria too should soon receive its own first batch of the vaccine.
Project SafeUp masks
Ultimately, even with this positive development and the end of the pandemic hopefully drawing near, the most important measure against the Coronavirus remains the observance of strict health measures wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, and avoidance of crowded spaces.
Project SafeUp, a partnership between My World of Bags (MWOB), a bag design and manufacturing company, and the Mastercard Foundation, is actively working to help Nigerians with adopting some of these measures the initiative aims to produce and distribute 2.5 million items of PPE across Lagos, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo States.
A nurse at Agbowo Primary Health center wearing the Project SafeUp headcover
In the four weeks since the project kicked off, over 100,000 PPE items have already been distributed to verified organisations and health facilities in Lagos, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti States. The PPE materials produced include reusable non-surgical masks, face shields, gowns, scrubs, shoe covers, and head covers.
Staff and Children from New Dawn Handicapped Home in Ibadan, Oyo State received the donations with much delight and fanfare. Over 15 of the facility’s children performed songs and danced to welcome and show gratitude to the Project SafeUp team. According to the administrators of the Home, the PPE and communication materials received will go a long way in enlightening residents, staff and visitors about how to improve general hygiene and protect themselves from the coronavirus.
Students of Orisunbare wearing the Project SafeUp masks in 2020
Schools are also an area of great concern for Project SafeUp. The very nature and habits of children allows for the swift spread of germs, and thus, infection. According to a representative at one of the beneficiary organisations Mr. Aikomo, the Head Teacher at IMG Grammar School, Ibadan most students in the school cannot afford to buy masks. “The reusable masks donated by Project SafeUp will go a long way in helping us to prevent the spread of the coronavirus amongst our students. Each student is able to receive at least a pair of masks. This is indeed a great initiative,” he added.
A member of the Project SafeUp team handing over masks to the Principal of Methodist Secondary School Bodija, IbadanHospitals, clinics and other health organisations have also received items of PPE from Project SafeUp. With each beneficiary, Project SafeUp is taking an active step towards stemming the tide. The project intends to continue combining its distribution efforts with activities centred on building awareness, to encourage the adoption of health measures by members of the public.