Covid-19: Non-medical Discussion
(The information on this page has been supplied by Dr Michael Kamdar, Covid-19 Advisor to the BRANNGO Health Working Group, and Chairman of Friends of Nepal Ambulance Service. The pictures are taken from a PPE training video made by Dr Prakash Oli, Surkhet).
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Information
Personal Protective Equipment use is variable across settings and is dependent on the purpose of utility. Therefore, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) must take care in selecting their PPE based upon setting, purpose and what is available locally.
The World Health Organisation has offered the following strategy to optimise PPE availability:
1) Minimise PPE need
2) Use PPE appropriately
3) Co-ordinate the PPE supply chain.
As we are NGOs operating in Nepal, we need to ideally support local Nepali PPE companies where possible. This will benefit the locality and bring in income. We also need to ensure that our activities do not impact upon the availability of PPE to the wider Nepali community where possible (we should ensure that hospitals and those who are vulnerable are protected).
There are a variety of methods for completing this task, such as:
1) Deciding on your operating environment (are you within healthcare, education, infrastructure development etc.)
2) Is there a way to provide your service remotely?
3) Can you maintain social distancing requirements?
4) Can you operate with face coverings?
5) Are you prone to working with aerosol generating procedures?
6) Can your PPE be reused? (some equipment can be washed and reused)
Based upon this information it could be wise to decide upon a defined level of PPE.
Level 1 (Normal everyday operations)
• Face coverings only
• Utilising hand washing (with soap), and/or hand sanitising (using alcohol hand rubs)
Level 2 (Patient interactions/close interactions with others)
• Utilising face coverings, visors, plastic aprons and gloves which are changed between interactions with individuals.
• Alcohol rubs and soaps can be used here.
Level 3 (Where aerosols are being generated)
• Utilising a gown, FFP3/N95 masks, gloves, visors.
• Alcohol rubs and soap rubs can be used here.
When using any PPE the end user should be trained on:
• How to don it
• How to ensure it fits correctly
• How to maintain their protective environment
• How to doff it
(The information here should not be used as definitive guidance. Decisions should be made on an individual NGO’s Standard Operating Procedures).