ICRC Supports Local Face Shields Production in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is assisting physical rehabilitation centers in four regions to manufacture 3,000 face shields in support of the fight against the coronavirus in the country.

At the request and approval of the Ministry of Health, three PRCs located in Bahir Dar, Dessie and Assela cities have already started producing face shields as of last week through material and technical support from the Red Cross.

The first series of products will be soon handed over to the Ministry of Health for testing and conformity validation.

“Once approved, the production will be carried out,” says ICRC in a statement issued today.

Three other centers located in Jigjiga, Arba Minch, and Addis Ababa cities are expected to follow suit, according to Francois Friedel, Physical Rehabilitation Program Manager at the ICRC.

The face shields will be used by medical personnel working at COVID-19 treatment centers established in various parts of the country.

“The face shields will enable health professionals treating COVID-19 patients in a safe mode by reducing significantly the risk of getting infected,” Francois said

Each of the six PRCs is expected to produce 500 face shields, as a first target, which will be handed over to the Ministry of Health for distribution among the treatment centers.

The face shields can be reused and are easily cleaned with soap and water, or common household disinfectants, Francois added.

Ethiopia reported its first case of COVID-19 – a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, on March 13, 2020. Since then it has tested 91, 616 people, and confirmed 731 confirmed cases including six deaths.

Image: Employees of Dessie PRC producing face shields at a workshop with support from an ICRC colleague. [Photo Abir Mitra/ICRC]

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