The Onitsha Community Covid-19 Response Team has commenced production of Covid-19 Prevention Packs consisting of face masks and hand sanitizers. The team has produced their first sample of 2,000 fabric face masks and 1,000 units of branded sanitizers.
Kpari Rita Melifonwu who is the lead of the field operations work stream of the Response Team explained that “to begin production, a Health and Safety, and, Risk Assessment guideline was developed and implemented to maintain safe production environment, and, prevent COVID 19 infection among production staff. We followed NCDC guidance and enforced guidelines for sanitation and social distancing to protects workers and volunteers”.
The face masks are produced with best traditional Ankra and plain cotton materials by Onitsha community tailors, whilst the sanitizers are manufactured in a local facility based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance under the supervision of relevant experts who are Onitsha indigenes.
Melifonwu observed that ‘’because of the significant supply disruptions for alcohol-based hand sanitizers and face masks, our team will continue production l with local partners to increase the supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and fabric face masks not only in Onitsha, but, across Anambra State so that it is available to citizens at an affordable rate’’. She added that ‘’our plan is not only to help the government to contain the Corona Virus pandemic, but also, to respond to the economic crisis that arises due to the COVID 19 pandemic by developing local people as sustainable entrepreneurs in the face masks and sanitizer production ventures’’.
The Onitsha Community Covid-19 Response Team is an initiative established by His Majesty Nnaemeka Achebe, Agbogidi, Obi of Onitsha to reinforce, compliment, and augment the efforts of the government at the grassroots levels. The initiative covers the two Local Government Areas of Onitsha metropolis.