A surgical mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment.
Surgical masks (face masks) are examples of personal protective equipment that are used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face.
The mask has become the coronavirus’ avatar.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that most people do not need to wear a face mask, that has fallen on deaf ears.
The masks began appearing almost immediately after the infection was identified, first in Asia, where masks were already common, and then in Europe, America. These days the mask frenzy has hit everywhere. I have been seeing a number of face masks – apparently, locally produced made with beautiful Africa fabrics. Fantastic news right?
Not sure it is. I’ve made certain observations which I think makes those protective masks unhealthy for human use.
There is a peritent reason the face masks we import into the country looks the way they are. Those white or baby blue rectangles that hide the mouth and nose, turning everyone into a muzzled pelican. They have represented safety and protection from disease and pollution. Surgical masks are made in different thicknesses and with different ability to protect you from contact with liquids.
These properties may also affect how easily you can breathe through the face mask and how well the surgical mask protects you. If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose.
Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others. Surgical masks are not intended to be used more than once. Therefore, when it is damaged or soiled, or if breathing through the mask becomes difficult, we remove the face mask, discard it safely, and replace it with a new one. With the aforementioned, surgical mask is not for fashion purposes.
However, the Africa fabric surgical mask which appears very fashionable – in my opinion does nothing to prevent contracting the novel coronavirus. The thickness of the fabric even posses a risk for the user thus breathing becomes a problem. It’s “common sense” that wearing such mask would cause you more harm than good.
The temperature across the country makes it unreservedly insane and downplays the role of the African fabric face mask to slow the spread of deadly disease. Who uses what is a menace to his health?
Moving forward, the lack of solid evidence supporting the effectiveness of masks against the virus is an obvious reason to dismiss its use. In other words, you wear it just because it’s nice and not for health reasons.
I strongly believe, in case, it is soiled many will be tempted to wash and reuse it since it’s an African print and even expensive — the average Ghanaian doesn’t spend much on his health and that’s absolutely wrong – meaning people will simply abuse it use.
Due to the abundance of caution I will discourage people from patronizing such mask and advice the manufacturers to come again.
What do I know? I am just a journalist and not a medical practitioner.