Lions Mobilize to Shield Healthcare Workers

When the country went into lockdown due to COVID-19, DG Waldoylson da Silva Miranda’s manufacturing facility, which he owns with his wife, Tatianna Afio, came to a grinding halt. As Miranda hunkered down with the rest of the country to wait out the virus, he watched a steady stream of news coverage reporting a lack of safety equipment for healthcare workers and others on the frontline.

Miranda and his wife, Tatianna, deliver some of the protective equipment to healthcare providers and first-responders.

Then, PDG Roberto Komatsu, a doctor and fellow Lion, asked Miranda if he could print 3D frames for face shields at his facility. Miranda found that it took three hours to print a single ring on regular 3D printers. Miranda realized they could do better and decided to develop a manufacturing system at his facility that would enable them to produce 2,800 full face shields per day. “Our factory was paralyzed by the pandemic,” says Miranda, “So I decided to use our equipment, space, and few employees to start production.”

He secured partners to help him build additional tools and cut acetate plates that fit in the frames to compose the face shield.

When he realized this was a way Lions could help, he put together a team and made a plan to mobilize his district.

Healthcare workers display their Lions face shields.

Lions Tatianna Afio Miranda (Miranda’s wife), Antonio Helio de Freitas e Silva, and Luiz Henrique Zein joined forces to put together the marketing campaign. They made a video explaining that many doctors and nurses were dying. “If we need to be hospitalized, who will take care of us?” they asked. The project was called “Face Shields Save Lives.”

Donations poured in. The team opened a bank account and applied for and received a grant of US$10,000 from LCIF.

Lion Claudio Rego provided cut acetate for the visors, and Lion Robson Perez Sacco donated 24,000 Lions-branded stickers for the face shields.

Their goal was to make and donate 50,000 face shields to help protect workers fighting COVID-19.

of São Paulo emergency response team stands proudly with their Lions face shields.
As of mid-May Lions had made and distributed more than 67,000 face shields to 65 hospitals, 39 health centers, 38 senior care facilities, and the city of São Paulo emergency response team (SAMU).

“The whole district cooperated,” says Miranda. He and his team made the face shields available to other districts as well. “This disease has no borders,” he says. “And neither do Lions.”

Clubs identified the needs of the hospitals in their areas, and the factory responded according to need. Clubs made the deliveries themselves, which led to a response from the local media. The project got coverage from radio stations, newspapers, and a national television program. Soon, orders were coming in from far away.

The clubs share photos on social media of the deliveries, which has helped to further spread news of the project. Now Lions are delivering face shields to senior facilities, emergency response teams, and neighborhood health centers. All the while, they take careful measures to follow all safety precautions to ensure everyone serves safely.

Man stands at machine making Lion face shields
João Carlos Ribeira, one of Miranda’s employees, works on the production of face shields in the facility he’s updated to focus strictly on making the protective equipment at 5 percent of current market cost.

Because the project has become so big, it’s helped to increase awareness about Lions in Brazil. “It automatically aroused curiosity in many people who did not know about the Lions movement,” says Miranda. “This is giving us the opportunity to establish relationships and bring in new members.”

With the cooperation of other districts, the team has upped their goal to 80,000 face shields, and Miranda’s facility now operates two molds, producing 3,600 pieces per day with capacity for more.

“The pandemic and its economic impact have created the type of situation that could lead to member loss,” says Miranda. “Providing meaningful service and a sense of group is a way to prevent that.”