OCP Provides 100,000 Face Shields for Healthcare Workers

On November 14, Okapi Conservation Project, along with partners around the Reserve began distributing 100,000 face shields to healthcare providers across the Ituri and Haut-Uélé provinces to combat COVID-19 amid concerns of a second wave. The face shields were made and donated by LTA Research & Exploration based out of Sunnyvale, California.

These face shields which are of very high quality and multiuse provide much needed personal protective equipment to the dedicated healthcare workers at health centers around Eastern DRC. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential return of Ebola to the region, ensuring healthcare staff are properly protected is paramount for them to provide the necessary care for the communities in this region. Because the Okapi Wildlife Reserve spans across two provinces, 65,000 face shields will remain in the Ituri Province, and the other 35,000 are en route to Isiro the capital of the province of Haut-Uélé.

Program Manager Berce Nsafuansa speaks to press at the handover ceremony in Bunia.

OCP program manager, Berce Nsafuansa, met with government and healthcare officials in rainy Bunia to commemorate the arrival of the face shields after a 30+ day journey across the Indian Ocean to Kenya and overland in a container to Bunia and formally presented the face shields to the Minister of Health. While there, the Minister shared with Berce that healthcare workers had been asking for face shields even before this operation was announced, and were excited to see this shipment arrive. OCP is proud to be able to assist those working on the front line combating COVID-19, and we extend our own gratitude to them for the work they do under such strenuous conditions.

This operation could not have been possible without the donation of the face shields from LTA Research and Exploration, and the complex coordinated effort between the shipping companies and OCP and the governments of the Ituri and Haut-Uélé Provinces. We are excited to see so many government officials working together to provide for the healthcare workers of the region and we look forward to working with government leaders to benefit the people and wildlife of the vast area that encompasses the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.

Program Manager Berce Nsafuansa accepting the face shield shipment in Bunia.

Handover of the face shields from OCP to the Ituri government at the ceremony in Bunia.