Mask Creation Initiative - Lead by Kenneth Bintu

IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) and IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT)

Mask Creation Initiative – Lead by Kenneth Bintu | IEEE HAC & SIGHT

By Kenneth Bintu

IEEE Entrepreneurship is honored to promote innovative efforts that support the fight against COVID-19, and are connected to this mission to foster entrepreneurial engineering and technological innovation for the benefit of humanity.

In the spirit of standing together, IEEE member Kenneth Bintu has started a mask creating initiative.

The outbreak of COVID-19 took the world by surprise, with its spread transcending borders like wildfire.

The whole world is bleeding, with most under-developed countries like South Sudan with its vulnerabilities at more risk. With a weak health system, the majority of residents in South Sudan don’t have access to quality health care. Unfortunately, the handful of NGOs that are providing health services, are unable to handle an influx of patients with COVID-19 infections.

The majority of the South Sudan population is internally displaced and lives in Displacement Camps, with just basic services being provided by NGO partners operating there. The camps are overcrowded, with most of the IDPs living in cramped spaces. This means community-based transmission will undoubtedly increase at a speed that health services will not be able to manage. Infections are doubling every minute! This is especially dangerous as COVID-19 spreads quickly, particularly in a camp setting.

COVID -19 is carried in the small droplets that emerge from the nose or mouth, when a person with COVID-19 speaks, coughs, or sneezes. Infection can also happen when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. CDC has recommended wearing face masks in public to reduce community-based transmission of COVID-19. People with respiratory symptoms such as cough are more likely to transmit. With overcrowding in the camps, social distancing is not always possible when visiting crowded food stores or water points.

I am implementing a project funded by IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) and IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT,) currently producing reusable face masks, in collaboration with the Women Advancement Organization and various volunteers to produce reusable face masks and distribute them to vulnerable internationally displaced person (IDPs) in Juba South Sudan. Read More

The estimated number of IDPs in one camp is 2700 households and 29500 IDPs. There is a need to increase the supply of locally made reusable face masks to the vulnerable population.

This effort has organized groups of tailors, who can produce 1000 masks per day.

Sewing machines are no longer needed.  However, contributions of fabric, threads, and labor for tailors are requirements for the success of the effort! 

If you can assist this effort, please contact us!