Guidelines on the Production of Reusable Face Masks

Please note that the evidence based locally made reusable face masks referred to below should be worn as a preventive measure by Nurses, Nurse-Midwives, healthcare workers and non covid-19 patients they come into contact with. When caring for covid-19 positive patients, N95 masks should be worn

1. Material Specifications

Recommended materials: ripstop nylon, polypropylene, polyester viscose super (all with double threads). These materials are recommended because they are fluid resistant.

Important Note: Cotton is an inappropriate material because it can absorb and allow for transmission of the virus through the material.

Important Note: Improvised filters are not appropriate.

2. Production Specifications

2.1 How to locally produce a reusable medical face mask.

2.1.1 Each mask should be made of three rectangular panels, with the exterior panel slight larger than the interior ones, in order to fold back the edges of the exterior panel over the interior ones and machine stitch across the inside edges of the mask.

2.1.2 Use nylon or polyester thread for all stitching.

2.1.3 Cut two equal length elastic material bands.

2.1.4 Machine stitch these to the mask with tight, close stitches. Alternatively, you can make a “tunnel” when folding and stitching the larger outer layer to the inner layer, so that the elastic material band moves freely.

3. User Instructions

3.1 Machine stitch these to the mask with tight, close stitches. Alternatively, you can make a “tunnel” when folding and stitching the larger outer layer to the inner layer, so that the elastic material band moves freely.

3.2. Taking off the mask: Wash your hands with water and soap for twenty seconds, or with hand sanitizer containing 70% alcohol by rubbing your hands together thoroughly for twenty seconds, then take off the mask and drop it in the washing container or face mask bag. If you are taking off the mask to eat then you should wash your hands using soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, seeing as hand sanitizer and similar anti-bacterial products should not be ingested.

3.3. Washing the mask: Wash the mask after use, daily. Wash the mask by hand with hot water and soap for at least 60 seconds. Dry the mask inside your residence, preferably by hanging in sunlight.

3.4. Storing the mask: Store the mask in a closable pouch, ideally made of the same material as the mask is made of.

3.5. Life span of the mask: Use the mask until there is visible evidence of wear on the surface of the mask.

3.6. Disposing of the mask: Dispose of the mask as you would any other contaminated materials in a healthcare setting.