Local manufacturing companies are set to start the domestic production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), President Akufo-Addo announced on Sunday.
He said the government is actively engaged with local manufacturing companies to assist them in the domestic production of PPEs, and “I am encouraged by the response from the Ghanaian private sector.”
Addressing the nation on the progress that has been made in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic Sunday, President Akufo-Addo said, “Domestic production of face masks, head covers, surgical scrubs and gowns will commence from Tuesday.
He added, “three million, six hundred thousand face masks will be produced domestically, with an output of one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) per day.”
Health workers in the country have cause to complain about the inadequate supply of PPEs to the various hospitals hence the move for such a move by the government and the private sector to ramp up production.
There has been a global shortage of PPEs prompting philanthropists such as Jack Ma to assist Africa in acquiring them.
In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of PPEs – caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse is putting lives at risk from the coronavirus pandemic.
Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others.
But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.
WHO has so far shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, but supplies are rapidly depleting.
Based on WHO modelling, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month.
Recent WHO guidance called for the rational and appropriate use of PPE in healthcare settings, and the effective management of supply chains.
To meet rising global demand, WHO estimates that industry must increase manufacturing by 40 per cent.