Since the coronavirus has hit Africa, there have been 47,131 cases, 1,845 deaths, and 15,796 recoveries. Liberia, a small west African country, has had its fair share of casualties. So far they have 166 confirmed cases and 18 deaths as of today, May 5, 2020. These statistics are based upon the cases that are reported. So many underserved communities in Liberia lack healthcare centers that can properly test residents.

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Image Credit: dw.com

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Ebola epidemic claimed the lives of 4,810 Liberians. Thomas Nagbe is the director of infectious diseases and epidemiology department at Liberia’s public health institute. He admits that “not all counties are adequately prepared because of inadequate resources”. He also told Aljazeera News that only 1 ventilator exists in the country. Just one. A severe symptom of this virus is shortness of breath. More ventilators are needed for people to survive.

For lives to be saved, prevention is key. So many are setting up their sewing machines and creating face masks. The face masks are not only fashionable, they are saving lives.

The Bombchel Factory

An issue that remains within the fashion industry is staying above water. Many creatives, including those who sew, have to consistently market themselves to make a profit. It is a never-ending hustle. At the Bombchel factory, women are being trained to create clothes. With the pandemic growing, face masks are being made at a fast pace. Located in the heart of Monrovia, Bombchel is working hard to create face masks for their local community and the world. They teach women how to sew, and they also hold literacy classes. Skirts that are not being sold are being transformed into bright-faced masks. Their employee team is comprised of female Ebola survivors, rape survivors, and the deaf. They are a team of survivors that are doing all they can to save lives during this pandemic. The beautiful face masks are being made out of bold African prints.

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Image credit: Bombchel Factory

Since April 24, 2020, the Liberian government has mandated that everyone seen outside must wear a face mask. Cloth face masks must be washed regularly. Also, social distancing must be practiced. Wash your hands as much as possible. Keep a hand sanitizer by your side. And use disinfectant wipes on every surface that you can.

Support Liberians by buying face masks from the Bombchel factory. For every face mask purchased, one will be donated to someone who cannot quarantine at home.

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Image Credit: Bombchel Factory

To learn more, visit: https://www.shopbombchel.com/collections/all/products/cloth-masks

Sources:

https://www.africanews.com/2020/03/26/coronavirus-young-liberians-make-african-print-masks-for-protection-no-comment/

https://allafrica.com/stories/202004290448.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/liberia-braces-coronavirus-defunct-health-system-200403134851258.html

https://www.dw.com/en/turning-face-masks-into-a-fashion-statement-in-africa/g-53291542