On Saturday 18th July we distributed 200 face-masks to small scale business people of Mathare Slums to manage and response to COVID-19 pandemic. The activity started 3pm-6pm, Speaking to Boda Boda Riders, Mr. Elly Ajowi, Director COTA Kenya, urged them to observe the government directives towards COVID-19 by maintaining social distance, sanitize and put on face-mask in public areas.
Poverty levels is on the rise in the informal settlement of Nairobi (Mathare). Therefore, purchasing for a mask is not a priority to most of the residents in Mathare and this might expose one being vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. COTA realized the importance of providing 200 masks to the vulnerable community residing in Mathare to respond to COVID-19 pandemic.
Face-mask came into focus as an additional control measures to curb the exponential spread of coronavirus. With drastic societal measures such as lockdowns not yielding the desired flattening of the curve, the continuing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has called for the reconsideration of the value of face-mask.
The main transmission route is through exhaled droplets which contain the virus and are generated in the course of sneezing, coughing or talking. The droplets may be transmitted to another person directly through the air or indirectly by contact. An example of contact transmission would be an individual inadvertently touching a contaminated surface with subsequent hand transfer to their mouth, nose or eyes.
The shortage of face-masks has led to individuals making masks out of household fabrics. The protective capability of a fabric mask will depend on the type of cloth used, its porosity, thickness, the number of layers and its fit to the user’s face. One advantage of home-made masks is that they may be washable and reusable unlike commercial face-masks which are typically recommended for one-time use only. Face-masks should be used in conjunction with hand-washing and social distancing approaches. In this regard COTA engaged a local face-mask producer to provide 200 face-mask to distribute to Mathare community members as a way of motivation and raising the livelihood.
The community was also sensitized on safe disposable face-mask in order to prevent environmental hazard.
The initiative was welcomed by community members residing in Mathare and called for more interventions towards covid-19.
To donate towards our COVID19 Kitty: https://www.cotakenya.org/donate