Volunteers in Hà Nội make silicone ear guards to donate to doctors and nurses at the front-line hospitals. — Photo tienphong.vn
HÀ NỘI — Volunteers across the country have come up with ways to help frontline medical workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic relieve ear pain caused by prolonged use of face masks.
Ear guards, made of silicone or wool, are gadgets that go behind the head and have hooks to attach the straps of the medical mask to protect the ears of the wearers.
Thuỳ Trang, the co-founder of the Anti-COVID-19 Group, said she spoke with a doctor at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, who said doctors there suffered serious ear pain as they had to wear face masks the entire day.
“The story motivated me to do something for them. When I read an article about a Canadian boy making a plastic product to help reduce the pressure of the mask straps in the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to make the same product,” she told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
Based on the initial model, she redesigned it to suit Vietnamese people’s head size and used a member's garment factory to make the products.
"Instead of plastic and leather, I decided to choose a silicone material that is easy to disinfect and reuse," she added.
A doctor wears an ear guard to ease the pain caused by extensive face mask-wearing.
The ear guards are made from small pieces of silicone. After the moulding process is finished, they can be disinfected with alcohol and then kneaded with talc powder to create a smooth surface for the product.
Each product has small hooks to attach the mask straps depending on the size of the wearers’ head.
Initially, the group made 400 products and sent them to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and Bạch Mai Hospital.
“We have received positive feedback from doctors and nurses. They were happy to say that they no longer had ear pain when wearing face masks,” Trang said.
So far, the group has produced nearly 10,000 ear guards to present to frontline doctors at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and provincial hospitals across the country.
Cotton and textile yarn ear guards
A group of the volunteers in central Đà Nẵng City – a hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic – came up with the idea of making ear guards with another material.
Ear guards are made of wool by a group of volunteers in central Đà Nẵng City. — Photo plo.vn
They chose local cotton and textile yarn to make the ear guards and one roll of wool can make between 30 and 40 ear guards.
The products are donated to doctors and nurses and quarantined patients at frontline hospitals.
The project has drawn attention and received support from people across the country.
Hương Giang, a volunteer from Hà Nội’s Đống Đa District, said she asked her friends and colleagues to join the project. After three days, more than 1,000 products were made and sent to Đà Nẵng.
Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Lệ, head of Hà Tĩnh Knitting Team said her team made nearly 5,000 products in a week.
These products were sent to 199 Hospital in Sơn Trà District.
Lệ said she and the volunteers would continue making more products to help frontline doctors and nurses in the fight against the pandemic. — VNS