Manchester Outfitters, mostly known for the manufacture of uniforms for schools, military among other sectors has diversified into the manufacture of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) as it aims to meet their growing demand brought about by Coronavirus pandemic.
This is after it got certification from Kenya Bureau of Standards(KEBS) early April, making it among the few companies that have been allowed to make the PPEs among others being Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC) and Nakuru's Bedi Investments.
KEBS has given the company two standards KS2636 for the manufacture of surgical masks and NFPSA 1999 for protective clothing that includes surgical clothing, and drapes-requirements and test methods part 1, surgical drapes and gowns.
The company now manufactures in mass 11 ranges of PPEs including surgical gowns, hats, isolation gowns, shoe covers, boot covers, two types of cotton material protection masks of two types one with two filter layers and three layers and the medical/surgical face masks for medical personnel.
The other lines of products are hospital bed sheets(SGS Test Report), scrub suit that is unisex and aprons.
“We started looking at the medical PPEs line in the mid of March and with the experience we have had of 65 years, coupled with the high demand that is there. We then came up with this idea of manufacturing the PPEs, prepared our samples and took them to KEBS and got certified in the first week of April and started operations the second week,” said Rajesh Galot, executive director Manchester Outfitters Ltd, during an interview.
Currently, the factory is producing 5,000 surgical gowns and the same number of units for isolation gowns, boot covers, shoe covers, 3,000 for scrub suits and 10,000 for hats, protection masks of type two and three filter layers, surgical masks, aprons and hospital beds sheets a day in a shift of eight hours with 350 workers.
The company, he said plans to adjust the production capacity as per the future demand.
The masks, he said are also being sold on wholesale and retail with one box packet that contains 50 pieces of surgical masks at Sh2,000 for wholesale and retail while the protective masks that has 25 pieces per packet goes for Sh104 for two and three filter layers.
The company is already exporting the PPEs to East and Central African countries.