100,000 supporters but WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!
Apr 12, 2020 —
100,000 signatures! Thanks to all of you, this is now one of the most supported Covid-19 related petitions in the Philippines. The work, however, isn’t done. In fact, it’s barely started. In recent news, there have been promising reports of companies and factories being prepared to start manufacturing of masks and other types of PPE. Unfortunately, we are still dependent on imports and selfless DIY-ers who commit their time and effort in trying to make up for the lack of supply.
To this day, majority of healthcare providers still lack PPEs. No definitive government plan for addressing the situation has been mentioned or is in place. I hope we can continue to count on your support to increase awareness and have our voice be heard.
With increasing evidence of community spread and rapidly diminishing stocks, health care organizations are having to make difficult and sometimes untested choices to conserve existing supplies. Fortunately, each of us can help.
Aside from supporting this petition, it is within everyone’s ability to try to do something. Only your imagination and desire limits your ability to assist during this pandemic. Call people you know! Let them know the real situation. Our government must be urged to act to the fullest extent necessary to ensure adequate supplies of PPEs for all health care settings.
For those that have supplies, please donate them and offer to pick up supplies from others as well. If you have the skills and proper material, consider making face masks if your local hospitals have requested them.
Businesses and manufacturers with current supplies of PPEs should be encouraged to just donate them. For companies that hold intellectual property (IP) for certain PPEs, they can release the IP via a limited license and other businesses can be repurposed to produce them. Businesses are also a rich source of innovation and can support growing efforts to open source the design and production of PPEs through various modalities like 3D printing
Although not ideal, health care organizations are now having to employ a “Restrict, Reduce, Re-Use” approach to conserve existing supplies of PPEs. Health care organizations and all healthcare workers must encourage the membership and professional societies to which they belong to exercise their considerable political leverage to ensure that health care workers have sufficient supplies of PPEs.
Faced with a critical shortage, health care providers are being asked to reuse their masks. The scientific community can help by generating evidence about the efficacy of sterilization and cleansing techniques for re-use, extended use, and other methods of PPE conservation. They can also provide clear recommendations on the best PPE materials, equipment, and recommended uses based on current world experience.
The most important component however, remains getting our government, to immediately act and implement whatever steps are necessary to ensure all health care settings have the PPEs they need. The government should also temporarily waive rules that may slow the production of PPEs. And they can act immediately to establish a reliable system for the coordinated and equitable distribution of PPEs based on need.
These proposed set of actions are by no means exhaustive, and undoubtedly that the needs will evolve over time. But we need everyone to act, and to do so now. A safe and healthy health care workforce is one of the most powerful and vital tools we have in the face of this pandemic. Please do what you can so that our health care workforce has the personal protective equipment they need to be healthy and safe while caring for us all.
Happy Easter, Everyone. Stay Safe. Stay Hopeful.
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