Traveling respiratory therapists create PPE for Muslim women

Two traveling respiratory therapists — both Muslim women — struggled to find personal protective equipment that met hijabi standards. So they made their own, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Nov. 27. 

Yasmin Samatar and Faraoli Adam met while studying to become respiratory therapists in St. Paul, Minn., then traveled together to serve different hospitals during the pandemic. The hospitals did not provide sterile, protective head and hair coverings, so the women brought and discarded their own cloth scarves from home, according to the newspaper. 

When they spoke to other Muslim women in healthcare, they learned that some wore bedsheets over their heads during procedures. 

"COVID is deadly and we all got familiar with the term PPE. But Muslim healthcare workers were left out because nobody thought about it," Ms. Adam told the newspaper. "They even have a beard cover, and we thought, really? A beard cover, but no hijab?"

Ms. Samatar and Ms. Adam began working on personal protective equipment that meets hijab modesty standards in spring 2021. Their products officially launched on Nov. 9, according to the newspaper. The goal is to sell to hospitals through procurement, but the personal protective equipment can currently be purchased on their website at a discount to healthcare workers. 

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