The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Sunday listed 10 registered and approved face masks and shield for public use to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FDA has urged the public to go by the recommended three-layered face masks to effectively help in curbing the spread of the global pandemic. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Joseph Yaw-Bernie Bernnie, the FDA Head of Medical Devices, said most of the locally produced facemasks posed health risks to citizens rather than protecting them.
He said most of the local ones were either single or double layered cloth and sewn with treated materials, which in itself may pose danger to the user. The FDA, therefore, appealed to the public to desist from using un-recommended face masks, stressing that in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease, many were producing it locally, the efficacy of which could not be ascertained.Mr Bernie said face masks generally must be able to filter out particles and still be easy to breathe through.
He said in the absence of propylene, which is the common material used for medical-grade face masks, 100 per cent cotton or cotton blends possessed good material characteristics for homemade face masks. He said recent studies and evaluations undertaken by the FDA on viable materials for face masks production established that Calico-Stiff (Hard/Medium)-Calico (three layers) combination was ideal for a reusable homemade COVID-19 face mask. Mr Bernnie said there must be no chemicals in the materials used for producing masks as they may have health implications.
He said the FDA was carrying out market surveillance to rescue the system, educating both producers and users to stop producing and using face masks there were not recommended. He said face masks were for protecting the wearer from others or vice versa but wearing those not recommended would rather expose the wearer to danger because of the false sense of security.