The 220 million residents of Pakistan face a deadly challenge in COVID-19 with lockdown restrictions eased, high population density, and an under-resourced healthcare system. Mask Banao is an organization combating the coronavirus in Pakistan through cloth mask awareness and production. We are planning to source and distribute 1 million cloth masks for those who cannot afford to make their own. We need your help to make this possible: each dollar you give helps us bring masks to 15 people.
What are we doing?
1. Mask Production and Distribution
55 million people in Pakistan live below the poverty line, cannot afford to buy masks or do not have access to resources for making masks, and are thus left more vulnerable. Cloth mask manufacture will allow us to reach many more people than we would otherwise, while also conserving valuable medical-grade masks for healthcare workers.
We are partnering with textile companies in Faisalabad to produce cloth masks. We are in communication with local NGOs and are partnering with the Karachi District Municipal Corporation for mask distribution. We have already started with the production of 10,000 cloth masks and your help will let us make and distribute a lot more. We will start distribution in poverty-ridden areas within Karachi and Lahore such as Lyrari, Korangi, and Gulberg, with hope to expand into interior Sindh in towns like Kandiari, Shahdadpur, Hala, Thatta, Thar, and later into interior Punjab, KPK and Balochistan.
Another important part of a mask campaign is convincing people to actually use masks. We also focus on providing information about the pandemic and dispelling common misconceptions about the virus. We have been running an online awareness campaign using platforms such as Facebook and Instagram (@maskbanao) as well as the messaging platform WhatsApp, and have about 20 million impressions on social media. We have been featured on Dawn, BBC Urdu, ARY News, as well as partnered with numerous artists.We have been contacting public policy operatives for the promotion of masks and met with the Governor of Sindh to push for mandatory mask directives as well as to clarify questions relating to the effectiveness of masks.
How can I help?
Donate! Again, every dollar helps us bring masks to 15 people. In addition, you can share this campaign with your friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. You can inform those around you about making homemade masks and support us online through social media platforms. Producing masks at your own home for yourself and others is a valuable contribution. You can take simple steps and save millions.
For other ways to donate, please visit our website .
What is Mask Banao?
Mask Banao, inspired by the successful campaign of #Masks4all , is bringing Pakistan to join the global homemade mask movement. We do this through spreading awareness about the need for homemade masks and how to make them, as well as the production and distribution of cloth masks for the public. The team behind Mask Banao spans across 8 countries and consists of students from universities including MIT, UPenn, LUMS, Northwestern, IBA, and others as well as professionals. You can learn more about us on our website .
Pakistan is in a scary position.
Up to 10,000 people could lose their lives in the next month. Starting May 9, the lockdown in Pakistan was eased down. At the time, confirmed cases had doubled from 20,000 to 40,000 in just a couple of weeks. Now (as of June 25), the case count has crossed 190,000.
The population density of some of Pakistan’s cities is higher than coronavirus hotspots such as New York (Lyari, for instance, is about ten times as dense as Brooklyn), and with healthcare facilities limited (just one doctor to every 1034 people), the spread of the coronavirus could have dire consequences. Karachi, for instance, already has about 9000 cases, and just 76 ventilators- think about that.
Why do we need masks?
COVID-19 primarily spreads through droplets emitted by an infected person coughing, talking, or even breathing. An infected person may not always show symptoms, but can still spread the disease to others with much more serious, even fatal, consequences.
Masks limit the distance those droplets travel. Everyone wearing a mask keeps many more people safe. However, a shortage of surgical and N-95 masks will directly impact our frontline medical workers. Due to this, homemade masks are being encouraged around the world.
Who says we need masks?
Organizations such as the CDC, WHO , governments across the world, and a number of health experts have recommended homemade masks. The federal Pakistan government has made masks mandatory across the country as well as published methods to make homemade masks. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi have had similar directives in place for many weeks now.
About the Organizers
This GoFundMe campaign is organized by members of our team Amar Lal and Bilal Hasan. For more about the Mask Banao team, please visit our About Us page.
- Mahen Khan
- Abdhullah Marzook