FROM THE FIELD: Migrants use digital ‘fab labs’ to address Djibouti health protection shortages

22 April 2020

With Djibouti’s health system under enormous strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, young migrants in the country are using 3D-printers to make face shields, and ease the shortfall inside medical facilities in the Horn of Africa country.

3D-printed face shields made for health workers in Djibouti fab lab, by migrants, by IOM

The shields are being produced in a training space called a ‘fab lab’ (digital fabrication space) funded by IOM, the UN’s migration agency (IOM), which normally teaches digital fabrication skills and computer literacy to vulnerable youth.

‘Fab labs’, which use openly shared software and data, are gaining attention as a way to provide desperately needed equipment, as well as provide marketable skills to young people who do not have access to formal education.

Read more about the story here.


♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

COVID-19: Major airlift operation, part of wider UN supply chain effort, reaches ‘most vulnerable’ African nations

The first of the UN’s “Solidarity Flights” carrying urgently needed medical equipment to Africa, has arrived in Addis Ababa, agencies said on Tuesday, part of a UN-wide initiative to ensure life-saving medical supplies get to where they are needed in the battle against COVID-19. 

More funding needed to combat locust swarms ‘unprecedented in modern times’

Along with climate shocks, conflict and acute food insecurity, the East Africa region now faces a hunger threat from desert locusts, top UN relief officials warned on Tuesday, saying action now, will avert a major food crisis later.