Mechanical Engineering

Affordable PPE for the developing world

April 06, 2020

The Badger Shield has shown that a distributed supply chain can create massive quantities of effective and cost-effective personal protective equipment (PPE) in a short time. Can this model translate to the developing world if COVID-19 cases start to rise in African, SE Asian and Latin American urban centers?

If you haven’t been following the Badger Shield face shield project, please check out this blog and this page. As of this writing, approximately 150 small and large companies have started producing these face shields to sell to local hospitals, hospital systems, and state and federal clearinghouses. They are being produced at a rate of 100K/day and rising and the orders keep coming in.

If social distancing, Safer at Home protocols, and the heroic work of our medical workers does the trick, the US may get through the pandemic suffering only a tragic loss of life, not a catastrophic one. If, on the other hand, infection rates in India, Brazil, Nigeria, and beyond start to rise, many of the resources available in the US (money, supply chains, medical equipment) will not be available. Crowded hospitals, limited access to soap and water for the general population, and lack of PPE for the healthcare workers could have devastating consequences.

“Up to 75 percent of people in the least developed countries lack access to soap and water.”

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