The initiative started in early April, when we raised charity donations and redirected the funds to our network of artisans, design studios and manufacturers. This produced 15,000 reusable face masks in two weeks which was donated to hospitals and at-risk communities as part of our COVID-19 response.
Considering the bottlenecks faced in quality assurance, standardization, and the capacity to meet the growing demand, we raised further seed funding from Africa’s leading technology innovation hub, Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), to set up factory production lines with the capacity of producing 10,000 units weekly. This partnership and expansion will enable The Assembly to increase its capacity and standardization of PPE and continue its mission to innovate, empower young talent, and contribute to strengthening the ecosystem.
The shortage of standard PPE in Africa and globally has become increasingly problematic following the surge in Covid-19 cases, the WHO has estimated that 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response monthly.
“When cases were on the rise, our immediate goal was to assemble our network to produce supplemental PPE for frontline workers, hospitals and at-risk communities. Considering the fashion industry is one of the sector badly hit by the pandemic we not only wanted to contribute support for businesses and young entrepreneurs but demonstrate the important role the fashion and garment sector play in curbing the crisis,” says Yoanna “Pepper” Chikezie, Founder & CEO, The Assembly Hub
In order to maintain quality assurance and standards, The Assembly has also partnered with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) to sterilize every face mask and PPE item produced and in addition to providing advisory support.
Bosun Tijani, CEO, CcHUB adds, “We invested in The Assembly Hub to manufacture medical grade masks sterilized by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR). We will continue to work towards optimizing and scaling past our 15,000 masks a week production capacity to ensure that we create value to our community through local interventions”.
The Assembly Hub is excited for this new chapter in the organization’s journey and will strive to drive operational excellence and deliver high quality and ethically manufactured and locally sourced products.
To learn more about the MASK ASSEMBLY, visit HERE.
Press Release: Onyeka Onwubu