2020-04-21

Protective respirators will reach social workers throughout Lithuania

To battle the increasing number of coronavirus infection cases in cities and communities, SBA group purchased and sent almost 5000 units of protection class FFP2 respirators to social workers of 60 different districts and cities. They will be given to employees of municipal institutions and non-governmental organisations who come into direct contact with the elderly and vulnerable persons when visiting them in their homes, or who are working in foster and care institutions.

"The mission of social workers who are visiting seniors in their homes is particularly important and risky during the pandemic and quarantine period. By going to stores and pharmacies to buy food and medicine for people who are under their care, these social workers can become infected themselves as well as bring the infection to the homes of those who are in the risk group. We were able to witness ourselves that most social workers lack protective equipment when we helped them deliver our food packages to seniors. Thus, as soon as we had the chance to buy good quality respirators, we did not hesitate to hand them over to the social workers coming into direct contact with people for whom the infection can unfortunately be fatal," says SBA Vice President Jolanta Grašienė.

According to her, even though protective equipment are now available in the market, obtaining high-quality respirators with adequate protection against the coronavirus is still difficult, and priority in their acquisition or donation is usually given to medics for obvious reasons. But we should also not forget those who are continuously working with people in the risk group.

"Social and visiting care workers typically visit 10 or more people in their homes per day, therefore, the need for personal protective equipment is huge for them, because such equipment must be replaced often. Most use such protective equipment very sparingly, as well as wear reusable fabric masks. Thus, our donated respirators will definitely help them protect both themselves and the people who are under their care," says Jūratė Tamašauskienė, President of Lithuanian Association of Social Workers.

According to her, our country's municipalities currently have approximately 3 thousand social workers. In addition to them, employees of various non-governmental organisations and volunteers also visit and take care of people in the risk group. The value of SBA support provided to social workers exceeds 13 000 euros.

Courier service and express delivery company Mail Boxes Etc. also contributed to this initiative by delivering the donated respirators to the social support departments of 60 municipalities promptly and free of charge.

SBA is also continuing its other support initiatives. In March, companies of the SBA group provided various medical institutions across the country with 15 000 reusable face masks made by "Utenos trikotažas". Just before Easter, more than 1 000 packages of nutritious food were purchased for seniors with the funds donated by SBA companies and their employees. The packages were also delivered by volunteers from these companies. The total amount of support provided by SBA to social workers, socially disadvantaged people and medics already exceeds 93 000 euros. SBA plans to continue its support initiatives.

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