A private university is manufacturing hand sanitisers and distributing them for free to students and communities around its campus as the fight against coronavirus mounts up.
Mount Kenya University (MKU) on Thursady last week said it has already distributed the sanitisers to its staff, entire university stakeholders in the offices, gates and other strategic locations.It added that it was gearing to extend the services to the general public as part of its fight of the pandemic.
The institution’s deputy vice-chancellor for administration, planning and institutional advancement Dr Evans Mwiti said they are planning to upscale the production of high-quality hand sanitisers, “for use not just in the university but also for the market as part of our community service.”
Dr Mwiti said that the development marks the university’s timely release of its product, which has been subject of research over a long period of time.
According to MKU college of health science principal Dr Josphat Njuguna, the hand sanitisers produced at the university’s laboratories will kill the coronavirus.
He said the invention has demonstrated the institution’s commitment in impacting communities through research and innovation.Dr Njuguna challenged universities to come up with other innovative ways that would help the government keep its citizens healthy.
He also challenged colleges and universities to take a leadership role in relieving the unprecedented stress of the virus on the health care system.
“Universities are not ivory towers, discharging our duty in an ever-changing world requires rethinking of community service, finding innovative ways to harness and integrate the vast intellectual resources of academia as a lever for social good,” said Njuguna.
He added that Kenya was best known as the regional giant in innovation.
“The government needs to collaborate with universities who have the expertise, manpower and the distribution channels to produce quality hand sanitisers”
There has been a shortage of hand sanitisers since the outbreak of the highly-contagious coronavirus as most of them can help reduce the risk of one catching the virus.
This was caused by panic buying among many Kenyans with supermarkets and pharmacies shelves emptied of the product.
MKU School of pharmacy Dean Dr Michael Mungoma, cautioned Kenyan to be wary of the quality of most of the hand sanitisers despite the shortage.
Mungoma held that with research findings, general information and resource centres, universities need to be at the forefront in solving this global challenge.
“Demand has surged for hand sanitizer, with prices spiking and customers stockpiling on the product but as the saying goes necessity is the mother of Invention,” he said.
With the coronavirus (Covid-19) fast spreading across continents and affecting millions, health authorities, policy-makers and scientists, innovators around the world are burning the midnight oil trying to invent ways to contain further spread of the pandemic.