With the disruption in global supply chain which has resulted in scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country, artisans, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have keyed into the opportunity to produce medical shields to close the gap created by the scourge.
President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Sam Ohuabunwa, who made the disclosure, noted that in a bid to meet with the rising demand for PPE and look inward in the fight against the pandemic, conglomerate of Aba Garment Industry in Abia and some factories in Cross River states are currently producing the shields, adding that major companies were yet to be involved in the production of the PPE, which include face masks, gloves, overall, head gears, aprons, gowns and shoe covers.
Ohuabunwa, who noted that the protective equipment used in hospitals in Abia were made by SMEs in Aba, said the artisans have made samples of PPE that he has seen, using specifications to meet the minimum standard and close the gap to save cost of importation.
Disclosing that bigger companies were looking into it to see how they can take advantage of the situation, PSN boss said it would take a longer period for such big companies to meet up, considering what it takes for companies to register, raise fund, build factories and others. “But it’s easier for existing industries to key in immediately like the Aba conglomerate.”
According to him, factories in Cross River were also doing their beat in smaller scales for use in the state.
For ventilators, the PSN boss said no company is manufacturing them for now, except for National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), a government agency, which has produced a prototype of the ventilator.