Retired teacher sews PPE kits for frontliners


AGE is no obstacle to a senior citizen here to do her bid in the fight against COVID-19 by sewing personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital frontliners.

Retired teacher Norimah Ab Karim, 64, wanted to show her appreciation of the country’s heroes by using her skills and free time to sew the PPE which are much-needed by the frontliners.

Norimah was among 49 volunteers of Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (IKRAM) Johor who have been assigned to produce 2,000 sets of PPE comprising the isolation gown, cap, boot cover, and shoe cover which will be given to health workers in Johor hospitals where COVID-19 patients are being treated.

“Initially, we made face shields at home, and this time, during Ramadan, we are making the full sets at the IKRAM premises together with other volunteers, so it is a different atmosphere.

“I find it very satisfying when we can provide the (PPE) sets in the quantity targeted. The frontliners have sacrificed so much, and I wanted to do something different this Holy Month,” she said when met at the Ikram office here.

She said she had the support of her husband and family as she chose to contribute to society rather than rest at home.

“It is not difficult to sew the PPE, but it requires stamina and energy to sit for long periods of time which can lead to back strain, by the time I get home, I have to lie down first,” said the former teacher of Sekolah Menengah Islam Al-Hidayah in Kempas.

The Johor IKRAM PPE project is a joint effort with Yayasan Pelajaran Hidayah which handles public donations, and support from the Temenggong Seri Maharaja Tun Ibrahim Hospital, Kulai.

All the PPE sets will be sent to major facilities involved in the fight against COVID-19, especially the   Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital in Kluang, and Permai Hospital and Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) here.

Project manager Dr Siti Kamariah Othman said RM10,000 has so far been collected for the second project which is now in its seventh day, targetting at producing 50 PPE sets a day.

The first phase in early March produced 3,883 face shield units and 4,000 face masks worth  RM13,000 which have been handed over to several facilities such as the Enche’Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital, Johor Health Department, and Kluang Prison.