A Bulgarian team, part of the world volunteer initiative Air Collective, started the production of specially devised masks to be used in the fight against COVID-19. The volunteers are turning snorkeling masks into specially devised protective masks for medical workers and oxygen therapy masks for patients. Several hospitals in Bulgaria have received 150 masks and are already working with the equipment – the Alexandrovska University Hospital in Sofia, the Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment of Pulmonary Diseases Pernik EOOD, the Multiprofile Hospital for Active Treatment “Prof. Stoyan Kirkovich” in Stara Zagora, and hospitals in Sliven, Vratsa, Dupnitsa, Kyustendil, Blagoevgrad, among others.
Considering the current situation of a rapid rise in the number of medical professionals testing positive for the disease, the demand for supplies is increasing. So far, manufacturing and logistics have been possible entirely thanks to the team’s resources. However, to be able to respond to the increased demand and deliver equipment to more hospitals, the team is launching an official campaign to raise funds for the purchase of supplies and logistics. The team’s work continues to be voluntary.
What are the masks like
Adapting the snorkeling masks for medical staff is done by adding two anti-bacterial and antiviral filters to a new kind of nozzle. The oxygen therapy masks also include a medical pressure control PEEP-type valve and additional tubing. The materials allow for multiple disinfection with the methods available in hospitals.
Currently, the production capacity is 40 masks per day. Each mask costs between 60 and 200 leva depending on its type of use – by hospital staff or by patients.
The ambition of the Bulgarians in Air Collective is to raise funds of 11 000 Euro to produce enough equipment for Bulgaria for both protection of hospital staff at all levels and protection of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Bulgaria. The funds will make the supply of equipment to all key hospitals in the country possible within a few weeks, and then the team will be able to proceed with the supply to smaller hospitals and hospitals outside of big cities that often lack resources.
How you can help
Funds are being raised through a campaign in the HelpKarma initiative, which allows tracing the investment of every lev received as a donation.
The goal is to raise funds for the production of 800 – 1000 more protective masks. All the produced and donated equipment will remain available to the hospitals after the COVID-19 crisis.
About Air Collective
The initiative unites around 170 people from over 25 countries. The team in Bulgaria coordinates the exchange of experience and the feedback from medical professionals, hardware and software engineers, enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and professionals in rapid prototyping.
For more information, please contact:
Doroteya Nikolova – 0889 716 094
Preslava Preslavova – 0888 659 819