1. Home
  2. News
  3. Make your mask and slow the spread of covid-19

Make your mask and slow the spread of covid-19

A campaign encouraging people across Africa to make their own face masks from materials found at home has brought together employees of bp, Castrol, and some famous (masked) faces, to help slow the spread and save lives

#MakeYourMask campaign aims to slow the spread of Coronavirus and help save lives

A campaign encouraging people across Africa to make their own face masks from materials found at home has brought together employees of bp, Castrol, and some famous (masked) faces, to help slow the spread and save lives.

Make Your Mask is a community initiative from a group of bp and Castrol Africa employees, who noted that in some parts of the continent it is impossible to keep ‘socially distanced’ from others.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a homemade face mask alongside frequent hand washing and social distancing. bp and Castrol employees have created a positive, engaging information campaign to help get the CDC’s message out.

The campaign includes a social media Make Your Mask 30 Second Challenge; community awareness through posters, radio, and other media; targeted engagement with community leaders, officials, and influential people; plus, a range of other local initiatives across Africa.

Richard Heron, bp’s chief medical officer said: “During this global humanitarian crisis, bp wants to play a part in the fight against coronavirus, particularly in the regions where we operate. Our bp and Castrol Africa employees feel passionate that the creation and dissemination of simple educational materials around the making and wearing of homemade facemasks, along with reminders on frequent hand washing and social distancing could make a real difference. These efforts are especially relevant for saving lives in places facing challenges with overcrowding, poverty, and stretched healthcare systems.”

Famous faces from across the continent, from Senegalese cultural icon Youssou N’Dour and South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain Francois Pienaar are supporting #MakeYourMask. Francois said “I am helping to fight COVID-19. Will you?”

Join us! Show your homemade mask on social media using #MakeYourMask. For more information, including a five-step guide to creating a mask, visit bp.com/MakeYourMask

For more information on masks, coronavirus or COVID-19, visit cdc.gov

Make Your Mask is one of the many efforts bp and its staff are doing during the global fight against coronavirus to help their families, neighbours, and communities. #InThisTogether

Notes to editors

  • For further information, images or interview requests please contact: Email: Antonio Vueba 
  • The educational materials produced by bp have been created in alignment with advice from the CDC (centre for disease control), French Academy of Medicine, the Africa CDC, and similar organisations.
  • With homemade 2-ply cotton face masks being 80 per cent as effective as a commercial mask, encouraging people to make and wear a mask, will help reduce virus transmission in communities and prevent (unknowingly) infected people from passing the virus on. 
  • Aligned with the CDC guidance and government policies in many African countries, homemade mask-wearing is recommended as an addition to frequent hand washing with soap or disinfectant, along with taking appropriate social distancing measures. 
  • This campaign is designed to be in addition to local government advice, and not to replace it.