TESDA Bohol offers PPE-production partnerships

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 16 (PIA) -- Amid the dire need of medical frontliners for the appropriate protective suits to wear in attending to patients suspected of being infected with corona virus disease (COVID-19), the government’s lead technical vocational training agency is offering partnerships for the production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Speaking during the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Bohol Supervising Technical Education Skills Development Specialist Carlito Quintano said even during the start of the community quarantines, TESDA Bohol, through its Provincial Training Centers in Tubigon and Balilihan, have been producing face masks which they distribute to frontliners and poor communities.

FROM FACE MASKS TO PPES. TESDA Bohol Supervising Specialist Carlito Quintana urges well-meaning individuals and groups to partner with them in sourcing out materials and specific patterns for PPES so they can also help produce PPES for medical fronliners here. Beyond that, TESDA has offered free online courses available at etesda.gov.ph. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

In fact, they have provided face masks they produced in their dressmaking training center in Tubigon for cash-for-work workers in the Department of Labor and Employment’s Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa mga Disadvantaged and Displaced (TUPAD) Workers implementing community-based barangay disinfection and cleanups in Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko projects.

He, however, explained that TESDA is more on government-sponsored training, which the people can access for free, the materials for projects would usually come from the trainees or from the government on certain scholarship packages. 

"TESDA is actually more on the training side of things, and when we have started the free training courses in dressmaking and after the government had our classes suspended, we asked our trainers instead to make the face masks, of which the material comes from our partners," he said.

"TESDA owns a pool of trainers in dressmaking, but we have not produced any PPE yet," Quintano added.

He, however, is certain that with the right material and specification, they can make a pattern and produce it for Bohol’s medical personnel at the forefront against the dreaded disease.

"We understand there is a need for more PPEs especially in coronavirus cases," Quintano said.

"We are calling for well-meaning groups and individuals willing to partner with us in the sourcing out of materials for the PPE production, just get to us at the TESDA in Tagbilaran," he urged.

Due to the high probability of infection, protocols dictate that a medical professional has to change PPEs every time they get close to a patient and these cannot be recycled, so the turnover is almost always fast.

While Bohol has only one recorded case present, the stocking up of PPEs can be critical in the care of patients believed to be infected with the virus.

He also shared that TESDA in Bohol is still hoping that it can start in Bohol a technical vocational innovation hub like robotics.

The Department of Health has posted notice about the need for more automatic defibrillator machines which can come as a critical equipment for patients with respiratory problems.

In fact, the Department of Science and Technology has been developing home-made defibrillator as COVID-19 cases in the country continues to rise and the potential to swamp the health care system remains high.

TESDA Bohol, however, said they have not acquired any skills to craft any such machine.  (rahc/PIA7 Bohol)

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