African Health Care Workers Make Reusable Masks Amid Shortage

Photos courtesy of AAN

Annet Kabanyoro, dean of Kampala International University’s School of Nursing Sciences, had a problem in the early days of the pandemic.

Like so many others in the world during the spring of last year, her students had no masks and no means of buying more.

So they set out to find a solution.  And did.

Within just four weeks of securing a $10,000 grant, Kabanyoro and her team made 130,000 reusable masks.

Annet Kabanyoro with planning documents for mask creation and distribution.  (Photo courtesy of Annet Kabanyoro)

In May, Kabanyoro linked up with The COVID-19 Africa Action Network for Nurses and Nurse-Midwives (AAN) and by June had the funds to continue production.

AAN, which provided funds and guidance regarding the materials, hopes to support the creation of at least 1 million reusable masks. The initiative is supported by BD, Direct Relief and others as mask production continues.

“This is something very important to our community, protecting the needy and, for sure, protecting each other."  -Fiona Mutoni, CEO of Open Arms to Golden Years Village

Nurses in Malawi holding masks they made during the pandemic.  (Photo courtesy of AAN)