By Patrick Garcia
With the shortage of medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) a constant worry of the frontliners battling the COVID-19 virus, the Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC) is one of the groups helping them win the invisible war.
In a Facebook post Monday, DBTC Rector/President Fr. Vitaliano “Chito” Dimaranan said that the school, with the help of various donors, has produced medical PPEs such as face shields and aerosol boxes to be distributed to hospitals throughout Metro Manila.
He said the school and donors have produced 3,030 face shields, a number of aerosol boxes, and are now preparing to produce washable face masks.
The donation drive also distributed 55,000 surgical masks, 9,800 surgical gloves, 2,384 booties and shoe covers, 1,770 bunny suits and gowns, 1,622 N95 masks, and 220 goggles and face shields.
Face shields project
Inspired to create face shields badly needed by frontliners, Dimaranan reached out to the Don Bosco community for help.
“On March 24, I made a crowdsourcing call via Facebook. I asked if anyone knew how to make face shields and asked for suggestions on what materials to use. A former seminarian student of ours in DB Canlubang sent me a design made by Western Visayas University that used readily available items like acetates, tapes, insulation foam, and garter,” Dimaranan wrote the Manila Bulletin.
Next he requested for materials, and was glad to see the alumni pitch in to help.
“My announcement on that day was followed by a shopping list. On that same day, the DBMAAI (alumni association) came out with a similar plea. Thus was born the close synergy between DBTC Salesians and the DBMAAI,” Dimaranan added.
“On March 25, donations started pouring in, mostly coming from friends in Facebook and alumni who personally knew me, or known to me. We made a drive to produce facial shields.
“The alumni made a drive to do aerosol boxes, facial shields, and a group of engineer alumni based abroad (mostly Singapore) worked day and night to come up with prototypes of two things: a ventilator and a disinfection chamber,” Dimaranan also said.
As early as March 12, Dimaranan had already “drafted and sent out a ‘Comprehensive Protocol in Response to the Covid-19 Crisis,'” he told the Manila Bulletin, but this was “overtaken by subsequent events,” namely the Manila-wide community quarantine and later the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
He said he felt a “prodding to do something with regards to the emerging issue of [the] COVID-19 pandemic,” and, working with a group of alumni who were similarly inspired, they produced face shields and aerosol boxes with the help of volunteer students, the materials coming from donations.
Dimaranan said: “The work on facial shields continues till today. But we added a new endeavor – the production of face masks using textile to make them washable and reusable. The first 100 face masks were produced March 30, 2020.”
Dimaranan also asked for donations of materials to be made into PPE, to be brought to the DBTC campus in Mandaluyong City.
The materials needed are:
1. Insulation foam, one-inch thick
2. Duct tape
3. Electrical tape
4. Activated carbon
5. 1-liter plastic bottles
7. 100-percent cotton fabrics
8. Fabric pillowcases
9. White thread
10. Double adhesive tape
11. Acetate sheets
More information about DBTC’s projects to help COVID-19 frontliners can be found on Fr. Dimaranan’s Facebook page (Chito Dimaranan).