Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Bridging the Standardisation Gap

On May 15, UNIDO, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Beijing Municipal Institute of Labour Protection, and the West African Accreditation System (SOAC), convened a virtual seminar to discuss the quality and compliance challenges of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The event was a complete success with a total of 172 attendees from 44 countries around the world actively participating.

The seminar focused on the initiatives developed and actions taken by national, regional, and international quality infrastructure institutions to bridge the gaps in the global landscape of PPE standards and conformity assessment systems, to meet the exceptionally increased demand for fit-for-purpose PPE products that are vital to protect the safety and health of our frontline medical workers and citizens in the pandemic.

The virtual seminar elaborated on the relevance of standards in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG3 on good health and well-being. The discussion furthermore highlighted the significant need for information on guidelines and access to relevant standards to ramp up PPE production and meet the increased demand.

“The main issue is that personal protective equipment was used in the chemical industry, construction industry, and only a small part was used for the health industry. We have to change from being industrial to having our main concerns on the quality, safety, effectiveness, appropriateness, affordability, and acceptability by the users of PPE in the health sector.”, says Ms. Adriana Velazquez Berumen, WHO.

The virtual seminar is part of UNIDO’s Special Webinar Series on Quality and Standards in the Fight Against COVID-19, which aims to share knowledge and experience on how quality infrastructure could support the global efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

View the full recording here.

Password: 7W+28j83

44 countries attended the event:

Angola, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe