George Hacks Founder, Konstantin Mitic, Launches COVID Mali
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide and left several communities devastated. In response, numerous organizations and teams have emerged to assist first responders combat the spread of disease. Such groups aim to educate and / or equip communities with the tools to stay safe with guidance on good handwashing techniques, physical distancing, and usage of face masks and other PPE. For developing countries, COVID-19 related risks have been more pronounced due to larger population densities, fewer resources, and lower capacity hospitals. Delivering assistance to those areas has thus been especially challenging.
In Mali, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in late March. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has risen to 2,577. According to UNICEF, over half of the positive COVID-19 cases in the country reside in the capital city, Bamako, prompting the CDC to label the nation as a level 3 (high) risk.
To assist communities in Mali during the pandemic, George Hacks Founder Konstantin Mitic launched COVID Mali. Consisting of “a consortium of skilled professionals in and outside of Bamako working to prevent and slow the transmission of the novel Coronavirus in Mali,” the startup strives to produce and distribute effective PPE to healthcare workers and people of Mali who are vulnerable to the disease.
Over the last few months, COVID Mali has developed prototypes for several types of personal protection equipment (PPE), such as gowns, face shields, 3D printed reporators equivalent to the N95, touchless thermometers, and reusable masks. Once these prototypes have been confirmed by healthcare professionals as viable products, they will work to scale up manufacturing of the items to supply the masses.
For his efforts in establishing COVID Mali, Konstantin was awarded the COVID-19 Student Action Fund by the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U). The award seeks to identify and support “select students at universities around the world who are committed to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” providing between $2,000 to $5,000 to each awardee. Although the foundation received more than 1,400 applications, only 38 recipients were selected. Along with other awardees, Konstantin will be invited to participate in the CGI U 2021 program and attend CGI U 2021 annual event at the University of Edinburgh.
Read more about COVID Mali’s impact on their website!