No Face Mask, No Entry; FDA Condemns the wearing of cloth mask
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has condemned the wearing of locally produced face masks that were not approved by the authority to protect the citizens from contracting COVID-19 and other infections.
According to FDA, most local masks on the market posed health risk to the lives of the public rather than helping them to protect themselves from the pandemic.
Speaking to the media on Thursday in Accra, the Head of Medical Devices Department of FDA, Mr Joseph Yaw-Bernie Bernnie, cautioned the public to desist from wearing masks that were not authorised for the public used.
He noted that most locally produced facemasks were either single or double layered cloth which were sewn with treated materials that posed danger to the health of the user.
Mr Bernnie explained that face masks should have a tendency to filter out particles while providing the user with the easy breathing sensation, adding that the absence of propylene in the cloth could make it dangerous for people to wear.
Recent studies and evaluations done by the FDA on viable materials for the production of effective homemade face masks from local fabrics, he established should contain Calico-Stiff (Hard ones) with three layers.
He said three-layer-Calico combination was ideal for a reusable homemade COVID-19 face mask, thus underscored the need for both local producers and users to ensure the recommended material were used before patronising.
Mr Bernnie insisted that materials used for cloth masks should not contain any chemicals, stressing that some of the face masks contained chemicals or were dyed, which has dire health implications on the user, hence stressed the need for the public to avoid it.
Mr Bernnie promised his outfit’s commitment in carrying out market surveillance to rescue the system, while educating producers to use the recommended materials for the masks.
He confirmed that only eight companies in the country had been licensed to produce the recommended three-layered face mask for the country.
Mr Bernnie regretted that most applications for the licensing of the masks had failed the test but expressed hope that more would be licensed by the close of the week.
He noted that the used of face mask is for protection from others or vice versa but wearing the un-recommended one would make it defeat its intended purpose.
“That will rather expose the wearer to danger because of the false sense of security and end up picking even other infections,” Mr Bernnie added.
BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE