Project SafeUp, an initiative created by My World of Bags (MWOB), a bag design and manufacturing company, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, has produced and distributed over 100,000 items of free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in four weeks. The PPE includes reusable non-surgical masks, face shields, gowns, scrubs, shoe covers and head covers. So far, these have been distributed in Lagos, Oyo and Ekiti States.

The initiative, which commenced in November 2020, is a joint effort to promote health and safety among Nigerians amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria, MWOB retooled its factory to focus on the production of PPE and established key partnerships with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country. Project SafeUp aims to produce and distribute over 2.5 million within five months.

Sinmi Olayebi, Director of Social Programs, My World of Bags/FemiHandbags, reiterated the need for increased safety measures as the country, “Amidst this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, a collaborative effort from citizens, private sector organisations and relevant government bodies, is critical to stemming this tide. Protecting ourselves and loved ones with the use of the appropriate PPE; the adoption of strict social distancing measures; and regular hand washing, even as we celebrate the holiday festivities, is a priority.

 “Project SafeUp is committed to becoming an effective driving force in improving access to PPE for as many Nigerians as possible, and to providing the sensitisation required to ensure the continued use and adoption of the necessary safety measures. We hope that our efforts and contributions over the coming months can play a role in curbing the spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria.”

Recently, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) registered the highest-ever infections recorded in one day since COVID-19 broke out in Nigeria – 1,145. There have been over 80,000 confirmed cases and over 1, 200 COVID-related deaths in the country since February. The World Health Organisation reports that there have been over 79 million confirmed cases and over 1.7 million deaths across the world.