In a bid to help fight the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa, especially at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), there have been various forms of support given by different departments such as the Department of Fashion and Textiles, which recently embarked on a voluntary project to make face masks for some departmental staff working through the lockdown period.
Acting head of the Fashion and Textiles Department Sunthra Moodley, DUT lecturers Meena Bagwandin, Khaya Mchunu, Tando Mbanga, Simphiwe Xulu, Keegan Naidoo, Sally de Witt, BTech students Georgina Brink, Kelly Love and Agilan Thaver, all formed part of the DUT team taking part in the initiative.
Moodley said what prompted her department on the task of making face masks was Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE), who reached out and informed her of DUT’s initiative to fight COVID-19 implications. “I immediately knew what we had to do to make a positive contribution to the initiative. We had the resources and the equipment, so I reached out to staff who in turn reached out to our BTech students, and the team of 10 pledged their support to this initiative,” she said.
Delving more into the actual mask-making process, Moodley said that the team produced 530 face masks from 28 April 2020 to 30 April 2020. She further added that it was a double ply mask with medium weight denim twill, lined with a cotton shirting fabric. “Elastic was attached to the sides and made to be adjustable for a small, medium or large face. Branding was also attached to the bottom of the mask,” she said.
On completion the face masks were distributed to DUT staff in the library in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Student Counselling, Research Innovation and Engagement Office, Procurement, Security and Finance.
“We would like to thank Prof Moyo for the opportunity to be part of this project. We would also like to acknowledge the Project Coordinator, Mr Ebrahim Asmal for assisting with the sourcing of the fabric and coordination,” she said.
Moodley also indicated that her department would like to continue with the mask project as soon as DUT is able to phase in staff and students.
Pictured: The Fashion and Textiles team hard at work making face masks at the DUT campus.