During the COVID-19 pandemic, the global healthcare community faced unprecedented challenges, with frontline workers relying heavily on personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety and the safety of their patients.
However, for Muslim women in healthcare, a critical gap in suitable PPE became glaringly apparent. Traditional medical caps left the neck exposed, failing to meet the standards of hijab-wearing Muslim healthcare workers.
This led to the birth of an innovative solution – Hygienic Hijab – a groundbreaking disposable protective hijab created by respiratory therapists Yasmin Samatar and Firaoli Adam.
The conventional medical attire did not align with hijabi standards, leaving the neck and part of the hijab exposed to potential contamination.
They co-founded Mawadda, a company with a mission to address the pressing need for suitable protective gear for Muslim women in healthcare settings.
The development of Hygienic Hijab marked a significant milestone in the journey of Samatar and Adam. As Somali and Oromo individuals, respectively, they were driven not only by personal experiences but also by the concerns of family members facing similar challenges.
Patients going into surgery, MRI scans, and various medical procedures found themselves without culturally-conscious hospital attire, often given a bedsheet as a makeshift replacement for their hijab.
Recognizing the widespread nature of this issue, Samatar and Adam sought to create an FDA-compliant bio-safe, disposable hijab – the first of its kind.
The patent-pending design of Hygienic Hijab was tailored to meet the unique needs of Muslim women. It addressed the shortcomings of traditional PPE, providing a snug fit that could be worn alone or on top of an existing hijab.
The hijab is currently available in two styles – “Ikram” and “Znub.” The “Ikram” style allows for wrapping and tying in the front or back, while the “Znub” style offers a quick and convenient pull-on design.
Both styles are constructed from a specially-made, breathable spun-bond fiber, ensuring comfort and effectiveness in healthcare settings.
With Hygienic Hijab establishing a foothold in the market, Mawadda looks toward the future. The company plans to expand its product line to include other sanitary wear for healthcare workers, such as scrub skirts and long shirts.