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Making ourselves useful during the Coronacrisis

The new decade has barely started when in January the Coronavirus starts spreading in China so rapidly that it becomes world news. Late February the first case of Corona is confirmed in the Netherlands, and from this moment on things change quickly. In March the World Health Organisation officially declares the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and the Netherlands starts taking precautions to avert a national crisis. The Dutch government forms emergency plans but it becomes clear that in case of a big outbreak healthcare workers lack critical resources, including facemasks.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus the demand for facemasks has grown fast. This forces some healthcare workers to work unprotected while helping patients, increasing the contamination risk. Omar noticed in his personal network that there was an increase in the demand for facemasks in the healthcare industry. However, at the same time, he also heard that some organisations had more than enough inventory. This is how the idea started of creating a temporary platform where supply and demand could easily find each other and by doing so streamlining the supply process of facemasks.

The platform focusses on smaller healthcare organisations, in an effort to supply them with facemasks. With this platform, we want to map out which healthcare workers need facemasks and where there is a surplus. The excess facemasks could come from other healthcare facilities, healthcare workers or other individuals. The way the platform works is simple, via a form on healthcare professionals list how many and what type of facemasks they need and the suppliers say how many they have in their inventory. Then, the supply and demand are matched through the platform. Both parties can discuss how the facemasks are delivered to the healthcare organisation. While doing this we try to align as much as possible with the ROAZ (Regionaal Overleg Acute Zorgketen) and other organisations who collaborate to ensure the facemasks are distributed to where people need them the most.

With the help of professionals from our network, who donated their time to this initiative, the platform was built within five days and we created a fitting PR strategy for the launch. The situation surrounding the Coronavirus is rapidly changing every day, which means we have to move quickly to effectively help the healthcare industry. This is why everyone is giving their all to get this platform live as soon as possible. This our way of contributing to our society during this situation and making sure we stand together against the virus.