The Faculty of Science and School of Pharmacy manufacture hand sanitiser for the University community, with limited ingredients, to restrict possible coronavirus infection on campuses.

The ‘home-made’ hand sanitizer is prepared according to the World Health Organisation recommended hand rub formulations. The Faculty of Science went a step further by adding a tailored touch of tea tree and lemon essential oils.

Prof Timothy Rennie, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, that houses the School of Pharmacy, said: “The aim of this effort by the two faculties, despite from limited resources, is underlined by the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’.

“The University community, and in extension the wider public, is still strongly advised that hand-washing remain the primary and most effective intervention and should not be replaced by hand sanitizer liquid alone.”

Dr Dan Kibuule, Associate Dean: School of Pharmacy, together with staff members and students in the School, have been preparing hand sanitizer for a while now. Dr Kibuule said: “Our hand sanitizer preparation is strictly based on WHO recommended hand rub formulation”.

“We have also prepared a flyer on how to correctly apply hand sanitizer and necessary precautions, such as that the product is only for external use, and not for drinking as some people might attempt. The flyer will be shared with the University community in due course.”

However, the University is not in a position to mass-produce the hand sanitizer for general public consumption. Dr Ndeyapo Nickanor, Dean: Faculty of Science, explains why: “We are simply not in the business of manufacturing hand sanitizers as a Faculty or University. We are temporarily using the limited human resources and ingredients to prepare the liquid to keep University space safe.

“We, however, are in the higher education, training, research as well as knowledge sharing business. Our students on the relevant Bachelor of Science programmes are well equipped with knowledge on how to produce this hand rub and more. Namibia leading scientists are proudly from our Faculty. We leave the mass-production business to the appropriate industry.”

Dr Petrina Kapewangolo, Senior Lecturer: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is in charge of the mini-production line set out in the laboratory. She invites staff members of the University to come and buy the hand sanitizer. Dr Kapewangolo said: “Units and faculties can internally buy the hand sanitizer at N$60 per 100ml.

“We are not making any profit on this exercise, as this is purely a cost recovery fee, to allow the lab to replace its ingredient stock.

“Staff members can bring along own containers, such as normal 500 ml water container or spray bottles, and it is limited to not more than 500ml per staff member.”

For orders, contact Dr Kapewangolo (081 240 0500 / pkapewangolo@unam.na ) or Dr Philipus Hishimone (phishimone@unam.na ) or Mr. Seth Nowaseb (081 279 9496, snowaseb@unam.na, School of Pharmacy). All campuses, centres or units with essential staff on campus are allowed 5 litres (funds should be transferred to budget vote 0051/2860 with proof of instruction for fund transfer).