Back in March 2020, the 1st case of novel COVID-19 virus was reported in Kenya. Everyone was

immediately on high alert, hand sanitizer and face masks were suddenly in increased demand. For

example our supplier suddenly increase the price of 10L hand sanitizer from KES. 3,000 to KES. 10,000

overnight. Surgical masks increased from KES. 500 to KES. 4,000 for a pack of 50. Not only that,


decreased very rapidly. As soon as we had the cash to buy none of our suppliers had the stocks


This meant we had to find a solution.

1st thing we did was to start making our own hand sanitizer. Very soon, our local partners such as


and hotels were reaching out to us to supply them with hand sanitizer. We realized that more people

were having similar challenges to us. Next thing we did was research and design a solution for

respiratory protective devices (masks). This process took as 2 weeks of prototyping, testing and


The most common masks can be classified as follows:
1. N-95 Respirators
2. Surgical masks
3. Homemade masks

N-95 Respirators

CDC does not recommend public use of this masks.

It achieves a very tight fit.

Is very effective in filtration of airborne particles.

Has 95% filtration capacity for particles 0.3 micrometres or bigger.

However, doesn’t 100% eliminate risk of Infection.

Cannot be shared and has limited reuse.

Surgical Masks

Is a loose fitting disposable mask

Offers protection by creating a physical barrier with immediate environment

Protect against large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter

Usually has 2-3 layers ie. 2 ply or 3-ply

Has a low filtration capacity and poor protection against particles < 2 micrometres

One cannot share or reuse.

Homemade Masks

Offers physical barrier for both inward and outward protection
Has a low filtration capacity
Has a low protective factor compared to other masks
Capacity of re-use

Imara Fortified Homemade Masks:

From our research the main challenge with the home made masks was the low filtration capacity and lack
of standardization. We took up the design challenge experimenting with different materials until we
finally had a solution. We started sourcing out for hospital grade microfilters. These were not locally
available and were very expensive. We then tried out other filters such as lab filters and even coffee
filters. These were very porous and had a low filtration capacity.
In the end, we arrived at using sanitary pad as our mask filter. Why?
Pads consist of 3 main layers

Top- non-woven fabric

Middle adsorbent material

Outer impermeable back sheet with adhesive 

The super-fine inner fibers provide filtration capability for micro/nano-size particles up to 8
Our masks includes 3 layers of cotton & microfibre and are specially designed with an area to insert a

Our homemade masks are now available for online purchases. Visit:

How to wear a mask:

Did you know that an inappropriately fitting mask can reduce a mask’s Protective Factor (PF) by over 50%?

Learn how to wear and take off your masks correctly.




Using hand sanitizer reduces microbial counts and kills harmful germs that could infect you with flu and other viruses.

Our locally produced alcohol and hypochlorite-based hand sanitizers are available at different measurements.


Since 2018, Imara Mediplus Hospital has been providing mobile health solutions via SIHA Digital Healthcare App. This provides easy & convenient access to our doctors, from the comfort of one’s home or office.

9 out of 10 people who use Siha resolve their healthcare needs without ever leaving their home or office.

You can use Siha for most of your non-emergent healthcare needs and doctor follow-ups. It’s the most convenient way to get the healthcare you need in Kenya:


Get Imara Mediplus Doctors, all on one platform.


Access to our prescription service and delivery.

Lab Tests

You don’t need to wait a whole day for your lab results. We can help you understand your options to get the right tests you need. Your results are posted directly on the app and you can consult your doctor from wherever you are.

Consult top doctors from your phone, and get prescriptions & tests delivered to you.

The mobile application is available for free downloads on both Google Play and App Store.

Download it here:

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