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Locally-made medical masks for COVID19 Prevention

We will develop medical masks from our community of creative women with disabilities utilizing reusable fabric

Photo of Patricia Mtungila
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Purple Innovation will develop  fashionable non-medical face masks and medical face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Malawi while easing pressure and demand for medical face masks.  We will also develop WHO approved hand sanitizer utilizing a simple yet approved formula of  pure glycerine and methylated spirit formulation with a few afro fragrances. We will also provide awareness campaigns to allay myths on COVID19 prevention utilizing adverts featuring  African celebrities on GO TV giving testimonials of the  need for prevention , these adverts will be targeted at all of Africa while for Malawi, we will develop radio messages for   community radio stations in local languages of Malawi targeting rural dwellers in Malawi.

What is the need are you focusing on?

Malawi has a recorded a total of 17 confirmed COVID19 cases as at April 17,2020. The Government declared a state of national disaster on March 20,2020 but did not provide frontline medical staff with  personal protective equipment PPEs. This has resulted in sit-ins by medical staff across large hospitals in the Country, a situation which has further crippled the health sector and made more patients and the medics themselves more susceptible to contracting COVID19.

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

Purple Innovation already has a community of women with disabilities that produce uniforms for medial staff, work suits and uniforms for schools as well as other handicrafts such as knitted school jerseys. In the wake of the COVID19 we are turning our efforts to produce non-medical protective face masks and we are seeking technical expertise and machines to produce medical N95 masks and other PPEs for supplying local and international health workers. We are also producing affordable WHO approved hand sanitizers in collaboration with CIVILIA Consulting Engineers . Lastly we are creating awareness on COVID19 prevention on our website and other social media channels.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

The PPEs mainly face masks and hand sanitizers are expected to assist in promoting COVID19 prevention by securing the lives of over 1000 firstly fronline workers in Malawi and other places. This will enable the medics to be healthy and able to serve COVID19 patients effectively. The masks will also be for women who are taking care of Corona Virus patients at home, the elderly and other vulnerable populations in society in general to wear and protect themselves thereby limiting the spread of COVID19 in Malawi and other places. As for the hand sanitizers, these will be distributed in in Northern Malawi and other places markets and other public places and are expected to controbute to saving over 1000 lives from contracting COVID19 through keeping hands sanitized.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Purple Innovation for Women and Girls Civilia Consulting Engineers

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Purple Innovation is a women-led not-for-profit organization that was registered as a non-profit organization in Malawi in 2016. The focus of Purple Innovation is on promoting a safe and conducive Malawi for women and girls to flourish. Mission Our mission is to sustainably promote women and girl-child interventions in Malawi through awareness campaigns and dedicated training that empowers women and girls with skills and knowledge to lead the fight against Gender-Based Violence and poverty while leveraging on ICTs. We currently run a women empowernment programme funded by USAID through World Connect where women with disabilities are equipped with skills and capital for tailoring :

What is your profession?

I am a journalist and entreprenuer. My partner in this proposal, Jackson Mtungila is a Water and Sanitation Engineer with Civilia Consulting

Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Southern Africa

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Activist/Community Leader/Organizer
  • Engineering/Architecture

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 2-5 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Nonprofit/NGO

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Investment
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

Yes we are looking to work with manufactureres of N95 masks and PPEs so that our women group can gain skills and equipment to produce for the international medical market

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Propably lack of availability of machines for mass production

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

There is a need for collaborations with large and experienced medical manufactureres to be able to meet the standard for 99% medical face masks. There is a lot of enthusiasim among women and youth in Northern Malawi who want to play a part in saving the world from COVID19.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

Yes. I am currently involved in the Africa Vs Virus Hackathon where teams from across Africa and experts are brainstorming ideas and making prototypes to put an end to the spread of COVID19 in Africa.

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Photo of Richard Schroer

The good initiative I just read at your site that they develop medical masks with reusable fabric using disable women's workforce. Also, don’t forget to visit fabric to know some more informative stuff online. thank you.

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