JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Hanoi volunteers make ear guards for Vietnam’s health workers

Hanoi volunteers make ear guards for Vietnam’s health workers

Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 12:37 GMT+7
Hanoi volunteers make ear guards for Vietnam’s health workers
A health worker tries on an ear guard made by a group of volunteers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Seeing the frontliners struggling to cope with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a group of volunteers in Hanoi have invented a unique product to relieve pain caused by tension on the ears of medical workers who have to wear face masks for hours on end.

After playing with the idea for two days, ‘Anti COVID-19,’ a volunteer group in Hanoi, began the production of what they call 'artificial ears' as a tool to help doctors avoid ear pain caused by wearing face masks.

The gadget, which goes behind the head, has hooks that attach to the straps of a medical mask and help take the pressure off the backs of the wearer’s ears.

“This product is based on the idea of a Canadian boy during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Phan Manh Ha, a group member.

“I have experience in crafting leather goods, so creating such a product is not so difficult,” Ha, who runs a leather business in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, added.

Previously, 12-year-old Canadian boy Quinn Callander made the news after he had created hundreds of such ear guards from home using a 3D printer and donated them to healthcare workers around the world.

For Anti COVID-19, the difficulty lies in sourcing materials. The team has had to transport silicon — the main material in making the bands — from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

Thanks to donors, the whole process has been going smoothly.

Workers make ear guards at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers make ear guards at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

According to Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang, co-founder of Anti COVID-19 and the product’s designer, the idea came up when she talked to a doctor at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and learned that medical workers there needed a product to help them reduce the ear pain caused by long hours of wearing face masks.

The 'artificial ears' are small pieces cut from a large sheet of silicon and then disinfected with alcohol, and coated in talc powder to reduce friction on the skin of the wearer.

A single tension release band can be reused many times, with adjustable hooks to fit different head sizes.

“Some people advised us to use leather, but since leather is easy to catch and retain bacteria, we decided to use silicon,” Trang said.

During the first trial, 400 'artificial ears' were sent to the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and Bach Mai Hospital for doctors to test them.

“Feedback was positive. The doctors said using our product helped to bring them comfort when wearing face masks,” Trang said.

According to the volunteer group, over 8,000 of their surgical mask tension release bands have been produced and will be sent to frontline hospitals such as the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi and centers for disease control and hospitals in other provinces and cities throughout the country.

A volunteer group make ear guards at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A volunteer group makes ear guards at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker disinfects a silicon sheet with alcohol at an ear guard making facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker disinfects a silicon sheet with alcohol at an ear guard making facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Two members of a volunteer group in Hanoi, Vietnam cut a silicon sheet into small pieces to be made into ear guards. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Two members of a volunteer group in Hanoi, Vietnam cut a silicon sheet into small pieces to be made into ear guards. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker operates a hydraulic press to stamp out ear guards from a silicon sheet at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker operates a hydraulic press to stamp out ear guards from a silicon sheet at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A mould used in making ear guards at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A mold is used in making ear guards at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker removes ear guards from the mould at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker removes ear guards from the mold at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Phan Manh Ha, a member of the volunteer Anti COVID-19 group, shakes excess talc powder off finished ear guards before packaging at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Phan Manh Ha, a member of the volunteer Anti COVID-19 group, shakes excess talc powder off finished ear guards before packaging at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers package finished ear guards for delivery to hospitals at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers package finished ear guards for delivery to hospitals at a facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Phan Manh Ha (right), representing the volunteer Anti COVID-19 group, presents 1,000 ears guards to doctors at 103 Military Hospital and the National Institute of Burns in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 16, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Phan Manh Ha (right), representing the volunteer Anti COVID-19 group, presents 1,000 ear guards to doctors at 103 Military Hospital and the National Institute of Burns in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 16, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Latest news

Japan's Mount Aso erupts, alert level raised

Mount Aso, a volcano on Japan's main southern island of Kyushu, erupted on Wednesday, Japan's Meteorological Agency said, spewing volcanic ash 3,500 metres (2.17 miles) into the sky