This comes ahead of the reopening of the education sector by the government, which would see the demand for facemasks and shields increase in a few months.
The UNBS says currently, single-layer masks are not allowed, because they cannot guarantee the needed protected.
Uganda National Bureau of Standards has warned the manufacturers, importers and
dealers in facemasks and face shields to strictly follow the standards.
comes ahead of the reopening of the education sector by the government,
which would see the demand for facemasks and shields increase in a few months.
the requirements the government has given to schools, is ensuring that each
child has facemasks for protection against contracting or spreading coronavirus
while at school.
The government has been providing free facemasks, but purchases by the public
dominate the market.
is also concern that most of the masks on the market are not branded and can
therefore not be traced to the manufacturer or importer, making it difficult to
guarantee their quality standards.
of them do not even have any labels for the user to know the type of fabric,
fabric combination or even the usage, leaving the public exposed to either the
virus that causes Covid-19 or risks arising out of the mask itself.
October 2020, at least 40 companies had been certified to make non-medical
manufacturer is supposed to indicate whether the mask is disposable or
reusable, or even how many times it is supposed to be washed.
colours fade, for example, it is an indication that the mask may now be too
weak to be providing adequate protection.
Production of facemasks is dominated by small-scale, informal and unregulated
enterprises, and these are pointed out for the sub-standard products.
It is common to find a mask of a single layer, whether it is cotton, polyester,
or chiffon, on the roadsides or shops, and many buyers are attracted by price
differences and colour.
The UNBS says currently, single-layer masks are not allowed, because they
cannot guarantee the needed protected.
other small producers have produced quality masks, according to the surveys
done by the UNBS.
Sanyu, who manages the materials laboratory in the testing department at the
UNBS, says that combination of materials in the right way is very
crucial, with cotton being the most dominant in these combinations.
in: “Among the materials…
Cue out: … good for the user.”//
materials are also accepted provided they are correctly combined with others, especially
says the standards allow for slight variations in the combination values but
this also has limits, citing materials like flannel, spandex and silk.
in: “It is supposed ….
Cue out: …. Cannot be absolute.”//
standard does not only stop at fabric combination and layers but others like
how easily a mask fits on the users face because the more the gaps left, the
higher the level of risk exposure.
also says the kind of strap used also matters because it is supposed to remain
steadfast until the user must remove it. Before the masks are put on the
market, they have to be tested for contamination, using the method known as
Total Plate Count (TPC).
The Uganda Manufacturers Association, which has both SME and large-scale
manufacturers producing masks, says they welcome the standards.
Executive Director, Daniel Birungi says they demanded strict standards and at
that time they were needed as fast as possible to counter the threat of the
pandemic, and to prevent an influx of sub-standard products onto the market.
Cue in: “We have a textile sector ….
Cue out: …. Meeting the standards.”//
The UNBS has also developed standards for face shields (eye and face protection
for occupational use), targeting shields for general use like protection
against covid-19 as well other shields like those for industrial use like