Masks for Bangladesh

One of the world’s most densely populated countries, Bangladesh faces significant challenges as COVID-19 spreads throughout the world.  

In response, Nuzhat Arif ’13, a Bangladeshi native now working in Boston, joined a fundraising team dedicated to supplying PPEs (personal protective equipment), particularly N95 respirators, to frontline healthcare workers in Dhaka. In April, Arif reported that, thanks to 125 donors, the campaign had procured 1,000 masks in total. “We are in the very tail end of distribution now, with five more hospitals receiving masks in the next three days (total of eight hospitals so far). This whole process has been an incredible learning experience, and we got to learn about the different global standards and certifications for masks, how different governments are dealing with the crisis, fake products in the market and how to vet them, working with supplies, and do so much more.”

The N95 respirator campaign has been paused, and Arif reports that a second one will be launched soon, with a focus on procuring more respirators as well as other PPE for healthcare workers in Bangladesh. “For the next initiative,” Arif says, “we will need to do as much outreach as possible since the crisis is escalating in Bangladesh, and we need to do a lot more.”