Rhodes University assists in sanitiser shortage in EC

Rhodes University has partnered with the Eastern Cape government to produce 900 litres of sanitiser per day - for free. This comes amid a shortage of personal protective equipment - and after protests by nurses in the province for better protection at hospitals and clinics. The sanitiser's being made by the professor and students of the pharmaceutics department and being distributed across the province. Govan Whittles reports. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Rhodes University has partnered with the Eastern Cape government to produce 900 litres of sanitisers per day - for free.

This comes amid a shortage of personal protective equipment - and after protests by nurses in the province for better protection at hospitals and clinics.

The sanitiser's being made by the professor and students of the pharmaceutics department and being distributed across the province.

This Rhodes University lab has been converted into a manufacturing plant to help fight the coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Increased demand for sanitisers in SA

With recycled containers and raw materials donated to the university, the pharmaceutics department can make sanitiser that is safe to use.

“The sanitiser is made using ethanol, glycerol, sterile water from my lab and this recycled containers, and we are making it in accordance with the WHO protocols for sanitiser production in resource scarce areas, of which the Eastern Cape is one,” said the university's Professor of Pharmaceutics, Rod Walker.

Professor Walker is working with students and they're contributing their time and effort for free.

READ: What you will need to make your own hand sanitiser

“I'm doing this as a way to give back to our community which is currently struggling with access to water and sanitisers. Since lockdown, we can't do much else and this is a very good and necessary way to give back,” said Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Melissa Chikuwa.

Their small operation could potentially save the government millions of rands.

The university says there's a lot of potential for this collaboration, which has already reached all the municipalities in the province.

“We are excited about this partnership because of its reach, particularly because of the challenges faced by the Eastern Cape clinics and hospitals. So we are proud and excited about possibly expanding it,” said RhodesVice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela.

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Source
eNCA

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