Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has amplified its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to support those affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The airline has highlighted the development of face shields for medical staff in a new video released today to mark Zayed Humanitarian Day.
In an effort to provide additional safety for medical staff interacting with patients, the Etihad Airways Medical Centre (EAMC) collaborated with Etihad Engineering to develop personal protective equipment (PPE) that would add an additional layer of protection for healthcare professionals working in medical centres across the UAE.
Dr. Nadia Al Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services at Etihad Aviation Group said: “As part of our CSR efforts, as an organisation we challenged ourselves to determine what we could do to help combat the effects of this global pandemic. With high demand for PPE in the UAE, our innovative design team at Etihad Engineering successfully developed 1,000 face shields for us to distribute locally.
“With the logistical support of Emirates Red Crescent, we’ll start distributing the face shields to medical professionals at EAMC and SEHA this week.”
The face shields are designed and manufactured using Etihad Engineering’s latest 3D printing technology certified by the highest aviation standards. The shields were validated by EAMC’s medical team to ensure protection. It is constructed of a reusable plastic band which requires standard disinfection (similar to a mobile phone) and a disposable plastic shield which can be replaced with sheets found at any stationery store. Additional plastic sheets will be distributed with the face shields.
Since the start of the pandemic, over 3,000 Etihad Airways’ employees have volunteered to support a number of government entities and initiatives including deployments to SEHA, Ma’an and Emirates Red Crescent. 800 staff volunteers alone have registered on the UAE Volunteers Platform, a community response to COVID-19.
“An overwhelming number of our employees have selflessly put their hand up to volunteer, from working at call centres, to distributing masks and gloves and physically cleaning the streets of our capital city as part of the government’s sanitisation programme.
“This year, Eid will not be the same for most. Therefore, in collaboration with Grace Conservation, we will be distributing 1,000 gift boxes to families in need containing clothes for adults and children,” added Dr Nadia.
As a core element of Etihad’s ongoing corporate social responsibility campaign, the airline has again partnered with Emirates Red Crescent to produce and deliver 1,000 meals per day to Humanitarian City, a month-long initiative which began on 15 April and will continue through Ramadan. 6,400 blankets were also donated to Humanitarian City.
In collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) globally and with Emirates Red Crescent, through Etihad Guest miles donation drives, the airline’s loyalty programme, Etihad Airways has provided ventilators, masks, gloves and soap to refugees, and other displaced people.
The airline is also donating over 1000 units of essential supplies to SEHA, Emirates Foundation, ADNEC Field Hospital and Trade Centre Field Hospital with bags containing children’s activity packs and essential bathroom amenities.
“As Etihad Aviation Group, we are here to support the UAE government and fight this pandemic together,” added Dr Nadia.