The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has approved an additional standard with the aim to enhance the quality and safety of face masks produced locally.
The Kenya Standard – KS 2924:2020, Personal Protective Equipment – Face Masks – Masks for public use – Requirements and Test Methods, prescribes minimum performance requirements for any material used for the construction of face masks to allow producers to innovatively use materials for quality mass production.
This comes as the country fights the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic that has necessitated policy changes to guide increased production of quality face masks using different materials.
“The additional standard outlines the minimum performance requirements of masks such as breathability, filtration efficiency, hydrophilicity, and hydrophobic characteristics, material bioburden, design, and user information, labeling and packing for the materials used to make face masks,” said Lt. Col. (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director KEBS in a statement on Wednesday.
“The standard further recommends material for use in constructing face masks for general use without stifling innovation. The standard is based on experiences gained from the Kenya Publicly Available Specification (KPAS), Reusable cloth mask — Specification KPAS 2917: 2020 first edition, World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements as well as the latest research,” added
It is expected that the new standard will spur innovation and facilitate manufacturers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and individuals with the requisite knowledge of how to make face masks to ramp up production to meet the surging demand for face masks.
“We hope that increased production of quality face masks will boost efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and lower the number of infections in the country,” he added.