In the current dispensation of the COVID-19 pandemic, proper hygiene and sanitation is a key preventive measure. Both handwashing and sanitizing have particularly been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as key to preventing spread of the pandemic.
Research and development hold the key to effective emergency response and preparedness. Especially now under the COVID-19 pandemic, for the prevention strategy to be effective, self-reliance in maintaining supplies of sanitation products for the University and its environs is critical.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the school of Science at the University of Eldoret has taken up the challenge to spearhead production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and multipurpose detergent, in strict conformity to national and international standards. The production unit at the Department is fully operational, having already passed KEBS sample analysis and facility inspection for award of Standardization Mark Permits for the two products. This University of Eldoret’s hand sanitizer is also in compliance to the recommendation by the World Health Organization’s formulary for preparation of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The Departmental Production Unit has a projected capacity to produce 15,000 litres of multipurpose liquid detergent and 900 litres of alcohol-based hand sanitizer annually. The Departmental Production Unit Team includes: a Technical Advisory Team; Dr. Vivian Tuei (Head of Department), Prof. Samuel Lutta, Dr. Enos Wambu and Dr. Naomi Bisem: Production Team; Mr. John Ndegwa, Mr. John Ekeyya, Mr. Anthony Odero, and Ms. Julia Mwangi: and Alternate Production Team; Mr. Richard Kiptisia, Mr. Julius Koech, Mr. Samson Lutta, Mr. Edwin Kirwa and Mr. Fredrick Sang.
The head of department, Dr. Vivian Tuei emphasizes that in addition to its commitment to the long-term plan of continued production of sanitizers and detergents by the Department for University’s COVID-19 pandemic response and preparedness, it was essential that the department support the University in its Social Corporate Responsibility, in line with the university’s values. Subsequently, the department supplied a donations of University-produced multipurpose liquid detergents (200 bottles of half-litre) and hand sanitizers (100 bottles of half-litre), distributed to vulnerable groups in the University’s neighbouring community, in the University’s corporate social responsibility drive held on July 24th, 2020.