-As study ranked N95 masks best for preventing droplets spread
Pharmacists in Diaspora under the umbrella of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, NAPPSA, have thrown their weights behind the campaign to flatten the COVID-19 curve with their move to commence the circulation of O-Care medical face masks in the United States.
The association made the disclosure at the unveiling ceremony of the first medical face masks factory in Nigeria- Transgreen Nigeria Limited, with the capacity to produce 240,000 masks daily.
Speaking at the launch of the O-Care medical face masks held in Lagos recently, the NAPPSA President, Dr Anthony Ikeme expressed the delight of the association in the initiative of Transgreen in being the first indigenous Nigerian company to embark on the production of medical face masks to join the fight in reducing the spread of the dreaded respiratory infection in the global community.
Ikeme, who spoke through a goodwill correspondence for the occasion said the association’s proposed support for Transgreen is in with its objective to help Nigeria build local capacity for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical and medical products in the country thereby ensuring less reliance on medical supplies from China and India.
“NAPPSA is committed to create a pathway for this product and other such products to be marketed in the US to help create foreign income earnings for these companies and also grow the sector,” he added.
In a related development, scientists from the Duke University in the US have recently found that N95 masks are the best among other face masks for preventing spread of droplets.
The study published in the journal Science Advances, the Duke University researchers (Emma Fischer, Martin Fischer, David Grass, Isaac Henrion, Warren S Warren, and Eric Westman) devised a low-cost laser sensor device and used it to compare 14 different types of masks and face coverings.
The researchers found that the best face mask for preventing spread of droplets were N95 masks without valves while fleece coverings and bandanas were the least effective, with researchers finding them “worse than not wearing any kind of facial covering”.
According to the lead author, Emma Fischer: “Surgical masks are commonly worn by medical personnel and have received a fair amount of testing in clinical settings. But there was no quick, easy, and cost-effective way to demonstrate the effectiveness of such a wide variety of other mask types, like loose fabric masks or face coverings”.
Ikeme noted that the association is much more delighted in the timely unveiling of the product, as it is barely a month after NAPPSA reiterated the call for Nigeria to look inwards for its medical and pharmaceutical needs.
The NAPPSA President recalled: “At the donation of COVID-19 diagnostics, PPEs and other medical consumables to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja last month, the association had called on stakeholders to facilitate the creation of a national strategy for medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing in Nigeria as a way to prepare for future health emergencies and also position the country to earn foreign revenue as an alternative source for medical and pharmaceutical supplies.”
“We are very proud to see that there is an industrialist in Nigeria who is well ahead of this curve by setting up a medical face masks factory.
“NAPPSA’s belief is that if Nigeria is to be a major player in the global pharmaceutical economy, if we are to lift the pharmaceutical sector to be a major driver for economic growth and for employment, more industrialists must follow in the footsteps of Transgreen and set up factories of this kind,” he stated.