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Covid-19: How to choose the most effective face mask

You might be considering purchasing a face mask to protect yourself as more people in Kenya continue to test positive for Covid-19.

But how can you tell the mask you are buying is the right one?

Health Director General Dr Patrick Amoth on Thursday gave an elaborate explanation on what a good and effective mask should have.

Dr Amoth noted that not any materials can be used to make a face mask, as not all materials are effective in preventing particles or bacteria from passing through.

He said a face mask should have three layers, made from different materials, with the outer layer made up of a material which is water repellant (hydrophobic).

This is to help prevent any spillage of blood or secretions and saliva spit from coming into contact with a person.

“The outer layer is made up of a material that is water repellent also called hydrophobic, so if there is any spillage of blood or secretion then it does not come into contact with you,” Dr Amoth said

The middle layer should have a filter to stop a person from inhaling particulate matter or the bacteria.

“If you cut a cross section of the mask you will find a middle layer that has a filter. That filter is supposed to be able to pick particulate matter and bacteria and therefore stop you from inhaling particulate matter or the bacteria,” He added.

The third inner layer is made from an absorbent material that absorbs sweat or any spit from the person wearing the mask.

“The third inner layer is the layer that absorbs, maybe if you are sweating or any secretion or any spit from you to the person whom you are maybe taking care of or the person you are talking to.”

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe yesterday said that all persons using public transportation, including the driver and conductor, will be required to wear a face mask to help stop the spread of the virus.