Davao siblings produce face shields for COVID-19 frontliners

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DAVAO CITY —-The coronavirus pandemic  (COVID-19) has thought the world unity and sharing, this has been demonstrated in various forms around the world.

In Davao City, two siblings assemble face shields for the frontliners of the COVIC-19  drawing inspiration from their father. Katherine,  just finished her architecture and still reviewing while  Isaiah John is a grade  12 student, they are the  children of  structural Engineer Allan Botuyan  have donated 13  pieces of face shields as of Monday, to the  Southern Philippines Medical center (SPMC) .

Isaiah John Botuyan does the printing for face shield.- Photo Courtesy: Allan Botuyan

Botuyan told NewsLine while the family was sharing about the  contagion and how people can help the front-liners with the materials they have back home and the technology at their office, his friend Dr. Jonathan Magsalang, a faculty member of Cebu Technological Univerity introduced the website to him, which prompted him to download the file and produce it using a 3D printer. It was then that they ventured to assemble what they call ‘face shields.” 

One of the recipients, a certain doctor thanked Botuyan and his children for sharing the face shields,  “During these trying times, if we only fervently pray, God sends His angels to help us, when we think there is almost no hope. Our heartfelt gratitude to Kuya/Engr  Allan Botuyan and his loving family. Your efforts gave us strength and renewed our faith to humanity. God bless you always”, the post stated.

A doctor uses face shield assembled by Davao kids.-photo courtesy Allan Botuyan

The face shields are used by resident physicians as they make rounds in the SPMC wards were they manage patients with tuberculosis and pneumonia (non-covid).

Dr. Che Dela Cruz -Tan, Training officer of Dept. of Internal Medicine at SPMC said “These masks protect them from such diseases. However, since we really do not know who among the patients that they see are PUMs or PUIs, we advise them to wear these shields at all times, along with their masks and other essential PPEs. We want our doctors and other health care providers to be healthy during this time.”

The SPMC front-liners need 80 more face shields but Botuyan is hopeful “God will touch the heart of those who can produce for our front-liners.” According to Botuyan,   Isaiah does the 3D printing while Katherine  assembles face shields. It took the kids 2.5 hours to produce a face shield, “I told them that God will be pleased when we become a blessing to others” he said.

At these trying times, he narrated “I was looking at our frontline medical workers who are taking care of the sick and doing everything they could to help lessen the impact of the virus, even at the peril of their own families. It is the least we can do”.

His family is praying that other Davao universities who have 3D printers will do the same thing to respond to the high demand which the market cannot just easily provide given the transport limitation. “I have started because the need is so great and time is too short,” he added.

Engr Allan Botuyan and daughter Katherine work at home DIY face shields for frontliners at the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City. Yesterday, they donated to the Southern Phil Medical Center here in Davao City. The frames for the face shields were 3-D printed.photo courtesy: Peter Laviña

To produce one face shield requires 2.5 hours and to assemble takes another 15 minutes. The material cost is not really expensive. A 1 kilogram roll of filament is only about P1300 and it can produce 25 to 30 face shields. The face cover is an ordinary acetate/PVC cover sold at book supplies.  But producing the face shields comes with a challenge, you need to order the material online since flights are temporarily suspended. “We just have to use the available materials we have and produce until it lasts,” he added. 

But he is hoping that others in the city will follow what his children has started, give the limitation they are facing. The children were so happy when they learned that the doctors  are now using what they produced. “They were so happy, especially when they knew that the doctors will be able to protect themselves from the dangers coming from the “enemy” and live to fight another day.” he revealed.

Botuyan’s children believe that “Heroes don’t need capes. So they are more encouraged to give their time to help with what they can”. Katherine and Isaiah are doing the face shields alongside their responsibilities, their father supervises them while their mother takes care of the kitchen. Editha Z. Caduaya

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