The non-governmental organisation has started manufacturing over 200,000 reusable masks
As a partner of the Bangladesh government's coronavirus (COVID-19) response plan, Brac has undertaken massive programmes across the country and is working jointly with the local administration and government.
As part of the extensive campaign against coronavirus, the non-governmental organisation has started manufacturing over 200,000 reusable masks.
The masks will be prepared using the organisation's hygienic home-based production method, reads a press release issued on Tuesday.
It is also analysing the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), and hopes to go into production shortly.
Asif Saleh, Brac executive director, said, "We are rapidly expanding our capacity to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside operating a mass awareness campaign, reaching to millions of people, we have now started producing protective wear."
"We are manufacturing protective masks and also exploring our capacity of manufacturing PPE in our country," Asif added.
"Once our production process is perfected, following scientific standards, we hope to go to large-scale production," said the Brac executive director.
"Then, we will partner with BGMEA [Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association], and other entities concerned, under the government's guidance," he added.
Meanwhile, over 50 thousand frontline healthcare providers of Brac have started to implement its extensive awareness-raising campaign, in 61 districts of Bangladesh, to prevent coronavirus.
Brac has also stopped collecting instalments from its microloan borrowers. It began on 24 March and will continue till April 2.
It is also running an extensive campaign at the Rohingya camps and with host communities in Cox's Bazar.
In urban slums and public hotspots, it has set up handwashing stations and has undertaken a disinfectant campaign for public transportation in partnership with the city corporations.
So far, over 8,500 members of Brac's staff have been provided with specific orientation on coronavirus prevention and self-protection measures.
More than 170,000 participants and clients of Brac's development programmes have been briefed on strengthening the community's own effort to prevent an outbreak of the disease.
Over 2.5 million leaflets and 500 thousand stickers with messages have been delivered door to door.
Also 7,670 units of hygiene products – such as liquid soap, hand sanitiser and soap bars – and 17,932 units of protective wear – such as masks and gloves – have been distributed among the community and frontline Brac staff.
All local offices of BRAC are displaying large banners with messaging about: respiratory hygiene, social distancing, coughing etiquette, and handwashing.
Its digital media campaign with experts and celebrities has reached over four million people and it is about to start a mass media campaign on fighting coronavirus on Thursday.
Responding to BRAC's call, several organisations have joined together to undertake collaborative efforts to fight against coronavirus.
Reiterating the urgency for more collaboration to fight the pandemic, Asif Saleh said, "We are left with no alternative at this moment but to raise ever more joint efforts."
"While we are happy to see our government, donors, businesses and development partners come forward, we will continue to explore more such opportunities," said Asif, Brac's executive director.
He urged the public to pay serious attention to the government's warnings, avoid travel and maintain social distancing guidelines.