Dozens of administrators and staff from Adventist-owned Montemorelos University in North Mexico recently joined efforts to make hundreds of cloth masks and different types of face shields to assist those in the local hospital and sanitation workers across the Montemorelos region in Nuevo Leon. The initiative was part of a comprehensive one that seeks to help in the fight against the coronavirus and the shortage of protective gear for essential workers in the community.
So far, authorities have reported one positive case of COVID-19 in the Montemorelos municipal district. Nearby in Monterrey and its metropolitan area, in the state of Nuevo Leon, there are 207 confirmed cases. Monterrey is one of the five major regions in the nation being carefully watched for an increase in coronavirus infections.More than 70 professors, engineers, medical professionals, health workers, architects, psychologists, administrators, and students at the university campus worked to sew 365 surgical-type face masks. More than 340 face shields were also printed on 3D and other materials.
“There are no professional machines here to make these face masks and shields but plenty of volunteers willing to donate their time, effort and resources to save lives,” said Rusbel Domínguez, who teaches in the master’s program for networks security in the Engineering and Technology Department and main organizer of the initiative.
Part of the protective gear produced has been donated to health workers at La Carlota Adventist Hospital, the Vision Institute, security staff, those who work in the sanitation department on campus and students who perform their community hours in nearby hospitals, health institutions and more. In addition, face masks and face shilelds have been donated to the General Hospital and the Mexican Institute of Social Security in Montemorelos, as well as health workers of the municipal district.The initiative has been accomplished thanks to the collaborative efforts of engineers who have researched and designed the printing of 3D face shields and accompanying visers as well as surgical-type cloth face masks.
It’s been all about designing and redesigning prototypes to optimize the time it takes to make each, said Domínguez. “What took four hours at the beginning to print a face shield viser, it’s now taking one hour and 50 minutes to two hours,” he said.
“This is a time of uncertainty and solidarity, and it is also a time of ingenuity and creativity,” said Luis Fernando Garza, president of Municipality of Montemorelos, as he thanked the university’s faculty and staff for donated masks shields.The cost of the initiative has been funded by the university solely by donations, said Domínguez. New projects are being developed for the coming weeks and a campaign to raise funds for the community impact has begun, he added.
Upcoming projects include a new website to serve as a platform for soliciting support for the most needy age groups, a telephone hotline to offer family and psychological counsel, and more.
“What we want is to motivate people to develop products that are not merely for personal consumption, but products to assist other persons,” added Domínguez. “There is a lot of need out there. If God puts in your heart a project to help more people then its about using your gifts and talents, take on initiatives, be more proactive and resilient, with a positive attitude, then it would be a great benefit.”To learn more about Montemorelos University, its academic program, projects and initiatives, visit um.edu.mx