President Nana Akufo -Addo
Government is planning to adopt and outdoor a standard model for the production of nose mask locally.
So far, with the exception of the five or so companies contracted by the Ministries of Health (MoH) and Trade and Industry to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus, any other being produced in the country is not being done in accordance with standard specifications as sanctioned by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
At a meeting with President Akufo-Addo yesterday at the Jubilee House, Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Serebour II, expressed concern about sub-standard face masks in the system but was delighted about the use of local fabric in producing some of the nose masks.
He said the government should intervene to ensure the right things are done so that the local textile sector would be empowered enough to produce more materials to generate a lot of employment opportunities whilst at the same time helping to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
Responding to the concern, President Akufo-Addo said, “I think the statement that has been made about the mass production of face mask is very much on point. The Ministry of Health, I am hoping, eminently from today, tomorrow, before the week is out will come out with guidelines on what should be the minimum requirements; the minimum standards for producing an acceptable face mask.”
“I know there are a lot of people as we are speaking producing face masks in their own homes etc, but I think that for public health reasons it is important that we should have some minimum standards that go into the making of these masks and then when that comes out then the mass production and everything can be seriously advanced,” he emphasised.
At the moment, he indicated that “the domestic production that we have ramped up is being confined to satisfy the needs of the health workers; that’s been our first port of call for the face masks that are being made in the country. I think from there to the mass production where we can get to a situation where everybody can have one, we will need to have some minimum standards certified by the Ministry of Health, Ghana Standards Authority, etc and then we can go ahead.”
“There’s one thing Nana that has been very encouraging in this crisis; the ingenuity of Ghanaians in responding to this. First of all, on the part of our private sector; they’ve stood up to be counted – producing sanitisers in large quantities now and the mass PPE all coming out and I have every hope that it will be sustained,” he noted with a deep sense of excitement.
It was for this reason he said government was using its purchasing power to stimulate this development in the economy.
BY Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent