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Boise State donates face masks to Gorongosa National park

Posted at 2:14 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-16 23:53:07-04

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University is donating 200 face masks to the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Researchers, students and the local community have worked at the park to support preservation.

The donation is part of a volunteer effort that began earlier this year to 3D print the masks. Park officials will distribute them to healthcare workers who are fighting the spread of COVID-19 in the park and surrounding communities.

"We had a surplus and we felt we could share and donate those face masks with a community that was in dire need, and so that's what we did," said Amy Vecchione, Boise State professor. "We took the ones that we couldn't use locally and we donated them to Gorongosa National Park."

Some of the healthcare workers have mobile clinics and remote areas while others work at fixed locations. Work includes improving sanitation and hygiene practices by organizing and serving on community water teams, and supplying health and nutrition information to young mothers.

A Boise State face shield kit includes a 3D printed headband and a laser-cut clear plastic visor that goes over the face. When the face mask project first started, Vecchione heard from members of the Boise State community, Treasure Valley organizations and businesses and people throughout Idaho willing to share equipment to create the masks.