If the Skirt Fits…

VectorLink Tanzania’s Operations Team, led by Mr. Juma Rutta, developed and piloted new personal protective equipment (PPE) for women working in the community. The new PPE “skirt” was piloted in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, during the 2019 February indoor residual spray (IRS) campaign.

This innovation came about after traditional PPE was considered culturally inappropriate for women in Zanzibar, where women typically wear long skirts and head coverings. After introducing the new PPE, the operations team conducted a baseline assessment to understand how wraparound skirts as PPE for IRS are perceived by female and male field staff as well as to identify any improvements that could be made. In general, the assessment revealed that the PPE wraparound skirt for women was positively received. However, the assessment also showed that there is room for improvement to make the PPEs more comfortable by field staff in Zanzibar. To do that, the team will experiment with different lengths of skirts and possibly change the fabric color to better match the PPE.

Congratulations to VL Tanzania’s Operations Team for thinking outside of the box to ensure everyone can participate in IRS comfortably regardless of gender!