MoH Issues Guidelines On Homemade Face Masks

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued a directive on the production and use of homemade face masks.

The MoH recommended the use of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) approved masks, stating that in cases where they are not available, homemade masks can be used.

It however gave specific guidelines for its production including the use of
JAVA or WAX cloths sown triple layered and stringed with side loops to be worn as hooks to the ear.

It also stated that calico inlaid with fabric stiffens and inner covered with side loops to be worn as hooks to the ear can be used.

“Homemade masks with strings to be tied behind the neck or head are not encouraged.”

Adult masks must not be worn by children —CHILD appropriate length masks must be worn by children.

It is important that all masks used meet the minimum standards of safety , ” the directive signed by Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye, stressed.

Procedures For Wearing And Removing A Mask

The health authority also gave a step by step tutorial on how wear, remove and dispose or clean a face mask.

“Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-base sanitizer before putting on a mask.

Ensure that your mask fully covers your mouth and nose with no gaps between your face and the mask.

Avoid touching the mask after you have won it, ” it said.

Is also urged the public to remove their face masks by passing a finger through the loop of the mask behind one ear and lifting off without touching the front of the mask.

The MOH again cautioned against the use the masks for more than 12 hours at a time.

“Do not re-use single use surgical masks more than twice or N95 masks more than three times.

Replace the mask immediately it is damp or soiled, ” it added.

It further noted that when using a re-useable mask, it must be put into a soapy or bleach lathered water immediately it is removed.

The MoH said the reusable mask must be left in the water for five (5) minutes before washing.

“Rinse, dry and iron before reuse, ” it explained.

It said all masks must be disposed into a closed bin or burn in a safe place after which the individual must
immediately wash his/her hands with soap and water and where unavailable, must apply alcohol based sanitizer.

Mandatory Use Of Masks

Food vendors and sellers at markets commercial vehicle drivers and attendants, commuters on public transports, persons in public and commercial centers, facilities and buildings are required at all times to wear masks, according to the Moh.

It said commercial centers include but not limited to offices, bars, workshops, restaurants, sports arenas and spas, saloons, shopping malls, churches, clinics and hospitals and all other facilities accessible to the public whether privately or publicly owned.

It said the directive is to help prevent the contamination, infection or transmission of the virus among the public.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri