Volunteers of a foundation based in Bacolod City are bringing cheer to medical workers who are at the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by sewing bright-colored and printed hospital gowns and what they call happy-looking Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
Photos of doctors, nurses, medical technologists and other medical workers serving private and public hospitals including rural health centers wearing hospital gowns in happy colors and prints are now gracing social media.
One of the popular hospital gowns sewn by volunteers of Negrense Volunteers for Change or NVC Foundation is the Jelly Bean Collection.
On Easter Sunday, medical frontliners of Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City showed off their hospitals gowns in red, hot pink and electric blue.
One hospital staff wore a silver PPE that belongs to the reusable line while a female medical worker displayed her yellow floral gown from the Spring Collection.
The medical team of Don Salvador Benedicto Hospital in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental posed in front of the camera wearing their blue printed PPE gowns with matching DIY face shields.
Millie Kilayko, NVC Foundation president, said at first, she was apprehensive in giving gowns in bright colors with bold and floral prints to hospital staff because they might find it too childish or not serious enough for their job. But she was surprised with the reaction of the medical workers who first received happy looking gowns and fun PPEs.
“We saw they posted photos of them on social media wearing the gowns we provided them. They said the gowns helped lighten up their patients. From then on, we make sure our gowns are colorful, whether plain or printed,” said Kilayko.
A garments factory helps out in cutting the fabrics used in the serwing of PPE gowns. Kilayko said the owner offered their services just like the rest of the more or less 100 volunteers of the foundation who help out in sewing the gowns and making the face shields.
“Sewers are all over. If they need the income they are paid but we also have volunteer sewers who provide services for free. The DIY face shields are 100% free of labor, all from volunteers,” said Kilayko.
She added that even male medical workers posted on social media photos of them wearing printed and colorful gowns.
She said, they thought of making happy looking PPEs to give medical workers “cheer in a situation where they cannot be cheerful all the time”.
The foundation started making DIY face shields on March 18.
According to Kilayko, a group of volunteers divided the tasks. Later on, they started receiving donations from groups and organizations for the purchase of hospital gowns and other PPEs but since they could not find a supplier that can deliver the number of PPEs that were needed, they thought of sewing the PPEs themselves in order to address the problem of lack of PPEs for medical frontliners in different hospitals in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.
As of today, the foundation has made more than 8,250 PPE gowns and 6,780 DIY face shields. All of these were distributed to 26 hospitals and 22 health centers and rural health units in the province. They also delivered PPEs to San Carlos City in the north and Hinoba-an town in the south of the province.
As of April 15, the foundation received more than P4.3 million in donations for its Combat COVID-19 Campaign. According to Kilayko, the money was used in preparing and delivering meals to more than 300,000 children, meal bags to 600 households, buying of materials and making of DIY face shields, production of face masks made of cloth for 750 frontliners, and creation of close to 10,000 PPE gowns for medical workers.