Student turns clothing business into PPE manufacture to support Covid-19 handling

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Muhammad Fahmi Ulin Nuha, a psychology student of Universitas Airlangga. (Photo: Personal Doc.)

UNAIR NEWS – Covid-19 or Coronavirus pandemic is affecting not only the health sector, but also the economy. The most noticeable impact is the rising prices of health products such as masks, hand sanitizers, and personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, not a few people lost their jobs and experienced financial problems due to the pandemic.

From this problem, the clothing business managed by the family of Muhammad Fahmi Ulin Nuha, a psychology student of Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) class of 2019, tried to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (UMKM) in its area who did not make money because they did not get orders for sewing bags, purses, and so forth.

“Many UMKM tailors lose their jobs and some don’t even eat for days because there is no income. So, we gave them work to stitch bags and wallets, but it was also not much, “said the student known as Fahmi.

Then another problem arose from Fahmi’s sister who was undergoing pediatrician specialist education. She asked him to make PPE from spunbond fabric because the goods were hard to find and the price was very expensive.

According to Fahmi, the high price of PPE clothes on the market is due to the scarcity of spunbond material. But the increase in prices reaching hundreds of thousands is also non-sense.

“After we were asked for help by my sister and his friends, seeing the condition of the UMKM tailors in the vicinity who could not earn, and medical staff who were overwhelmed with safety problems, then our family agreed to produce PPE at very cheap prices,” he explained.

Production Process of PPE

The effort to change the clothing business into a PPE clothing manufacturer began with consults with doctors and hospital relations to ensure that PPE they produce meet medical standards. Then, after fulfilling medical standards, efforts to find spunbond fabric that was already scarce on the market was done.

” Thank God, after some efforts, we can finally get direct access from the factory that produces the spunbond fabric,” he said.

The business has produced around 7,000 PPE in one week. The planned production target is to reach 26,000 PPE suits.

These PPE are also sold at low prices, around 30 thousand rupiah for 50 gsm fabric and 60 thousand rupiah for 75 gsm quality fabric.

“We also increased the costs of the tailors and other production teams so that they could survive in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak,” continued Fahmi.

There are at least 50 employees who work with Fahmi and family. To prevent Covid-19 transmission, Fahmi and his family implemented several efforts, including providing handwashing and antiseptic soap; spraying the warehouse every two days; providing hand sanitizer; wearing masks; and prohibiting sick workers to work even if only mild illness. Those who are sick are welcome to rest at home first.

Challenges

In addition to the scarcity of production materials, there is also a challenge from the distribution process. The low price of the product aims to make it easier for medical staff and hospitals to obtain PPE.

However, not a few people ordered PPE, claiming to work with the hospital but after being checked the PPE turned out to be resold at a higher price. There are also those who claim to be doctors but apparently are sellers of medical equipment so orders made by the person must be canceled.

“We asked he party that is cooperating with the hospital to take PPE themselves to our place. If not taken by the hospital, the order will be canceled, “he explained.

The distribution of PPE business run by Fahmi family. (Photo: By courtesy)

To prevent similar incidents, Fahmi and the family tried to be more selective in receiving orders. If a party is suspected, further information will be asked to confirm.

In addition to selling at low prices, some of the profits are also used for donations in the form of free PPE. The donation is preferred to be given to doctors, hospitals, or health centers that are in dire need. Fahmi was also assisted by student friends in the process of publication and distribution of goods.

In the face of this pandemic, Fahmi hopes that people will become more aware of health and remain in compliance with government regulations. Furthermore, medical staff must be supported by various parties, one of them is by providing a supply of medical equipment before running out. According to him, if medical workers were affected by the plague, no one would be reliable enough to face the plague.

“I hope from this step taken by me and my family, there will be other similar steps taken by other people and in other places,” he concluded. (*)

Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh

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