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Braskem partners up for the production of footwear and masks for frontline health professionals to prevent COVID-19
Health professionals, essential to the country’s current situation, working at the frontline against the new coronavirus are receiving a new reinforcement for their performance. Braskem has joined Alpargatas, a consumer goods industry, to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE), such as footwear and masks for hospital use. The shoes are already being distributed to hospitals in São Paulo (SP) and the masks are being donated to the public network of Alagoas, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and Tocantins.
The shoes were produced from 4.6 tons of EVA type resin donated by Braskem. The masks were made by Alpargatas from nonwoven made with polypropylene resin (PP) donated by Braskem to Fitesa, another of the company’s partner in the initiatives to prevent the new coronavirus.
In the State of São Paulo (SP), the shoes, 18 thousand pairs in total, were delivered to the State Government, responsible for the distribution to hospitals. In Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Duque de Caxias (RJ), with the support of the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Firjan), more than 50,000 protective masks were distributed to the Municipal Hospital de Duque de Caxias and to the Federal Hospitals of Andaraí, Bonsucesso, Cardoso Fontes, Graffé Guinle, Ipanema, Lagoa, and Servidores, and also to the State Health Department. In Bahia, the local health network of Camaçari was benefited with 150 thousand masks. For the public health network of Tocantins, the initiative gave 10,000 masks.
To Maceió, capital of the State of Alagoas, 40 thousand masks were donated, 20 thousand to local and state Health Departments. Part of this volume will be passed on to health professionals who work at the Screening Center opened in April 2020 by Braskem with the support from the Government of Alagoas, aiming at to unburden the public health network during the covid-19 crisis. The space is used to treat patients with flu symptoms.
The hospitals were selected by the State and Local Health Departments of the respective regions. “We are mobilizing several partners and other members of our value chain to find fast, safe and effective alternatives that can help Brazil go through this challenging period. We are engaged in a number of initiatives that support hospitals, and communities close to our plants in the country, and Alpargatas and Fitesa are essential allies in this movement. This a moment for union, and we need to demonstrate with actions how much our sector can help society, especially in the health area,” says Edison Terra, vice-president of Braskem’s Olefins and Polyolefins in South America.
“We believe that the way to overcome this humanitarian crisis we are experiencing is to work together with other companies, representatives of communities, and aid agencies. With empathy and solidarity we are stronger to fight the coronavirus and its effects,” says Roberto Funari, CEO of Alpargatas.
“Donations with partners reinforce the importance of collective awareness in the most diverse segments to overcome this delicate moment of world health. We are happy to provide material with the technical level required to fight the pandemic, we have made this a priority issue in our operation,” says Silverio Baranzano, CEO of Fitesa.
Braskem initiatives to support health professionals during the covid-19 pandemic
Besides the recent action with Alpargatas, Braskem donated more than 370 tons of plastic resins to produce packages for 750 thousand liters of alcohol (liquid and gel) and 500,000 wash bottles, a type of plastic bottle used in hospital environment to preserve alcohol (liquid and gel). Part of the resin was also used by Fitesa, Braskem’s partner, to make nonwoven fabric (TNT) used in the production of more than 60 million masks and aprons. All items were donated to hospitals in Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.
Braskem also distributed to hospitals 10 thousand boxes of hypochlorite for dilution or to be used as bleach and over 150 thousand plastic bags for hospital waste. In addition, the company is donating 90 tons of liquefied petroleum gas, known as LPG, to two field hospitals built in the city of São Paulo, one in the Anhembi events center, in the north of the city, and another in the Ibirapuera Gymnasium Complex, in the south region of the city. The gas is being used to prepare more than 3,000 meals a day for patients and health professionals, shower heating and laundry operation.
In Maceió (AL), where the company is also present, a joint action with the State Government made possible the construction of a Sorting Center with 30 service rooms, x-ray, lab tests, and drug administration rooms. Health professionals attend patients with flu symptoms and the initiative prevents crowds at the State General Hospital, helping to unburden the city’s health public network.
Braskem’s actions to support communities in the new coronavirus prevention
The support to the communities near Braskem’s units has always been one of the company’s main pillars. At this time, initiatives focus on the direct donation of essential items considering the current scenario. For workers in recycling cooperatives, for a period of three months, the company will donate food staples. More than two thousand families, about 15 thousand people, will benefit from this action.
From the end of April to the beginning of May, Braskem also donated more than 50 thousand cleaning kits containing products such as detergent, bleach, alcohol based gel, bar soap, and a leaflet with tips on covid-19 prevention. The initiative has benefited around 200,000 people in the States of Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo.