Keeping an eye on safety in Bangladesh
Updated: Apr 30
Although COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh are still relatively low, the country is in high preparation mode. So when officials put out a request in late March for thousands of soft-frame, wraparound plastic goggles to help protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection, team members and production partners got to work – and the first pairs of goggles were peeled off the production line last week.
This is the first time such goggles have been made locally. Bangladesh is heavily dependent on nearby India for supplies, and with that country’s borders currently closed the goggle shortage in Bangladesh looked severe and dangerous.
After the Bangladesh government put out a request for help, team members and local product design company Involute Tech BD quickly designed prototypes of the goggles, made them on a 3D printer and began testing and getting user feedback, said Kuldeep Aryal, Field Ready’s innovation lead for Bangladesh. Design funding was provided by a21 i-lab.
Looking to speed production of the goggles, team members modified the lenses for laser-cutting – and finally came up with an injection-mold design for the goggle frame that could produce 1,000 pairs a day. After the Bangladesh Directorate of General Health Services approved the final design last week, production got the green light and began last Thursday.
“By networking local producers and using rapid prototyping techniques, the goggles went from concept to a functional prototype to production in two weeks, which is amazing,” Aryal said.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to do the same with these goggles in Nepal (where goggles are also needed) and roll out this method for other products,” said Ben Britton, Field Ready’s international programs lead.
Working with FabLab SAU, the team also began production Tuesday on 2,000 face shields needed for healthcare workers using 3D printers, laster cutting and CNC processes. The finished goggles and face shields will be delivered in the next two weeks to health partners across Bangladesh.