It only takes a spark to get a fire glowing

By Lian Cheng

THE saying “it only takes a spark to get a fire glowing” could not be any truer for a group of Kuchingites who have been producing PPE (personal protective equipment) for medical frontliners treating Covid-19 patients.

While many are staying at home and enjoying themselves watching television and trying out various dishes during movement control order (MCO), more than 100 of this group have been sewing on a daily basis to produce PPEs, especially for the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

They have been able to do so under the coordination of SGH liaison officer of PPE for its Operation rooms, Dr Ian Bong, Tanoti Crafts director Jacqueline Fong and Amanda Chua of Life Care Society.

As the doctor in charge of PPE, Dr Bong merely tried his best to organise the medical staff who are not frontliners to help produce PPE with materials found at the hospital.

Somehow, Dr Bong’s initiative went beyond the walls of SGH when Fong and Chua started to get involved, coordinating manpower to produce the PPE to meet the increasing demand for the frontliners.

Fong has enlarged her operation and moved to Sarawak Club. So far, there are already 77 women signing up for the task and the list is growing.

“There are those who are more regular (in their participation). They will come back to us within one or two days,” she told DayakDaily.

According to Fong, items to sew will be determined by Dr Bong based on what was needed in SGH. She said the requirement changes everyday.

Last week, those under her have been asked to sew hoods and boot covers. Next week, they will have to start sewing the isolation gowns.

Fong used to supply only to SGH but gradually expand to provide to clinics as well as the Cover-19 screening centre at Youth and Sports Complex.

“We make two, three or even four deliveries per day. Whatever it is, our priority is still SGH.”

On the other side of the town, Chua has more than 50 ladies working on the PPE initiative.

“Any items, I will organise the ladies to sew, which was mainly the medical hoods and boot covers. I will send the materials to them and after that I will collect once they are ready.

“I am very touched by these ladies. They saw the needs and they volunteered themselves. I just posted the needs on Life Care Society Facebook page and they responded,” said Chua.

Apart from the ladies, the men were also involved in producing the PPEs. One of them is Parti Keadilan Raykat Selangau chief Joshua Jabeng whom DayakDaily met when he was delivering the completed PPE to Fong at Sarawak Club.

Joshua has been part of the project by helping to cut the material while the main seamstress is his wife.

“This is what I am doing because they (the medical personnel) need it more than us. They are exposed. Many of them became victims of the disease.

“So everyone should be supporting them in anyway they can. This is not the time for politics as this is a national crisis we are facing,” he said. — DayakDaily