GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - At the start of lockdown, two Knysna doctors anticipated the widespread need for masks, and six weeks later their initiative has seen more than 6 000 masks produced.
Paediatric cardiologist Dr Ken Sprenger and general practitioner Dr Deirdré Richman joined hands at the end of March to form Masks4Knysna.
"We knew many might not be able to pay for masks, so we set out to help as best we could," Richman said.
The initiative started with only a few volunteers, but quickly grew to 90 people producing 2 500 masks a week. By the end of last week the total was 6 000 masks.
"We have received a huge amount of support from the community, Knysna Rotary Club and fellow healthcare practitioners around town in particular."
The masks are double-layered, tightly-woven percale cotton masks, and 90% of what has been produced has been given away, according to Richman. "We've distributed masks through a number of channels including clinics, community health workers, Red Cross, care homes, taxi associations, soup kitchens, Knysna and Sedgefield Hospice, and we've even included them in food parcels too."
Their latest donation of more than 1 000 masks went to the Knysna Provincial Hospital.
Masks4Knysna aims to reach a total of 50 000 produced masks, as this will cover the majority of Knysna, but they require assistance. "Right now, we mainly need people who can sew, or donate materials, and any financial contributions will be welcome." The masks that are not given away, are sold at Food Lover's Market, The German Shop and The Clean Shop, with all profits going back into producing more masks.
Contact them via their Facebook page, Masks4knysna.
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