Support from University College for Applied Science (HOGENT) to frontline workers fighting COVID-19 in Belgium
University College for Applied Science (HOGENT), Belgium
Last week, some employees of the FTI lab (Fashion and Textiles Innovation Lab) of HOGENT started developing various prototypes of mouth masks for UZ hospital in Ghent (Belgium). Effective production started on Monday the 23th of March, after UZ Ghent tested the prototypes and made a selection.
UZ Ghent hospital is asking for about 1000 mouth masks per day, but that production speed is far from attainable for the FTI lab under the current circumstances. The FTI lab also have to comply with the Belgian regulations on social distancing, for example only three people can be present in the studio at the same time. As a result, the production is of course limited. The materials used in the medical world are intended to protect patients from bacterial infections that nurses and doctors may transmit to them during treatments. Viruses are smaller than bacteria, so there is no comprehensive guarantee against corona contamination. That is why our mouth masks are intended for the supporting staff in the hospitals (or other organizations in need) who do not come into contact with infected patients.
The lecturers involved in the design and production do this on a voluntary basis. A rotation system has been developed, in which also social work lecturers are being involved to help making mouth mask, detect other social work organizations in need and to deliver the packages in the area of Ghent.
Video and article in Dutch language: http://www.avs.be/avsnews/hogent-maakt-mondmaskers-voor-uz-gent