Lecturer, students turn hands to sanitiser

University of Otago pharmaceutical sciences senior lecturer Dr Shyamal Das and six of his pharmacy students have created about 100 litres of hand sanitiser to be distributed to the essential services which will remain open on campus, including Campus Watc
University of Otago pharmaceutical sciences senior lecturer Dr Shyamal Das and six of his pharmacy students have created about 100 litres of hand sanitiser to be distributed to the essential services which will remain open on campus, including Campus Watch and the campus’ residential colleges. Photo: Supplied
Sitting on his hands was not an option for University of Otago pharmaceutical sciences senior lecturer Dr Shyamal Das.

In the face of the escalating Covid-19 crisis, he has been working with six volunteering pharmacy students to create an ethanol-based hand rub to cover the Dunedin campus’ needs over the coming weeks.

Dr Das said he wanted to contribute to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic, and had been researching the development of inhalers to help with the disease, but knew that would take time.

“So I immediately decided to prepare essential hand sanitiser, of which there is currently a crisis in the market, to help minimise the spread of viruses and save lives.

“And all my students devoted themselves to this novel initiative, to help in this humanitarian crisis.”

Pharmacy students Tushar Saha, Nicole Wood, Rakesh Bastola, Rishi Shah, Prakash Khadka and Bishal Adhikari created the sanitiser using the World Health Organisation recommended guidelines.

It contains 80% ethanol, glycerol (1.45%) and hydrogen peroxide (0.125% volume per volume).

Quality control testing has been completed to ensure the sanitiser will help minimise the spread of microorganisms.

In all, 100 litres of sanitiser was produced in six batches over three days. The last of it was completed just before the School of Pharmacy’s doors were locked for the nationwide shutdown yesterday, Dr Das said.

The amount more than covers the university’s needs.

Emergency and business continuity co-ordinator Andrew Ferguson said the bulk of the sanitiser would be distributed to the essential services which would remain open on campus, including Campus Watch and the campus’ residential colleges.

The excess has been made available to Dunedin Hospital and Civil Defence.

Mr Ferguson said it was hoped by producing their own sanitiser, it would take a significant amount of pressure off commercial suppliers, freeing up capacity for the general public.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter