B40, migrants give back with PPE for Sabah hospitals

Hailey Chung Wee Kye

Members of the B40 group and migrant communities sewing PPE for Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Dignity’s social enterprise arm, Sew X. – Dignity for Children Foundation pic, October 29, 2020.

AS corporations and businesses donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to Sabah hospitals fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, a social enterprise is also marshalling its troops – migrants and members of underprivileged communities – to sew some of the much-needed gear.

This not only helps beleaguered hospitals in the state where the pandemic is hitting hardest, but also gives disadvantaged communities work, as well as a sense of contributing to the country, said Dignity for Children Foundation’s Natalie Tan Sook Ling.

The PPE suits are sewn by members of the B40 group and migrant communities at Dignity’s social enterprise arm, Sew X. It is an additional arm of the enterprise, which otherwise focuses on bulk mask orders pouring in since the pandemic started.

“Sew X is doing this despite having its hands full because we believe it is important to stand in solidarity with the communities that we serve.

“Many of our tailors are also from disadvantaged communities that have benefited much from others who gave a helping hand.

“We feel that this is one of the ways that we, too, can give back,” said Tan, Dignity’s head of transformational enterprises.

Sew X provides PPE to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, with its first batch set to arrive there next month.

“The hospital is also a hub for collecting PPE donations and caters to other hospitals throughout the state.

“Yesterday, the chief assistant director told us demand is still high.

“We are continuing our fundraising to make more than the current target of 2,000 sets,” Tan said.

Each set comprises two boot covers, one gown and one headgear that costs RM25, including materials and logistics.

Sew X has been working on the PPE project since the first movement-control order (MCO) was implemented in March. It has partnered with Biji-biji Initiatives to produce 3,700 PPE sets for 14 hospitals.

To date, Dignity has received donations to produce 1,270 sets of PPE suits. 

Information on how to donate can be found on Dignity’s website, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Each PPE set comprises two boot covers, one gown and one headgear that costs RM25, including materials and logistics. – Dignity for Children Foundation pic, October 29, 2020.

Support for Sabah

Sabah is the epicentre of the country’s current third wave of Covid-19 infections, accounting for more than 90% of new infections daily. While many cases are confined to prison clusters, transmissions have also been recorded in communities and the spread exacerbated by poor living conditions and challenges in the rural public system.

Sabah now accounts for more than 13,000 cases of the country’s cumulative tally of over 28,000 cases since the onset of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, insurance companies are also among those donating PPE to Sabah hospitals.

MSIG Malaysia has donated RM20,000, its chief executive officer Chua Seck Guan said.

“As a corporate citizen of Malaysia, the well-being of Malaysians is our primary concern in good times and bad. We hope that this donation will make a tangible difference in Sabah.

“We also believe that all Malaysians can play a part in reducing the burden on our healthcare system by closely following the Health Ministry’s guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.”

In the earlier period of the Covid-19 crisis, MSIG had channelled RM170,000 to the Health Ministry to buy critically needed PPE.

Collaborating with Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), General Insurance Association of Malaysia and Malaysian Takaful Association, it contributed RM8 million to the Covid-19 Test Fund (CTF).

The CTF supports the ministry’s efforts to conduct more Covid-19 screening for Malaysians.

The company also introduced additional Covid-19 inconvenience benefits for their SME and personal accident products, as well as fast-tracks the claims process for motor insurance. – October 29, 2020.

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