MUTARE- Manicaland based Pan-African tertiary institution Africa University has partnered with Old Mutual to produce hand sanitizers, a basic requirement in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
The partnership will see AU producing hand sanitizers to be distributed nationwide at subsidized rates.
Old Mutual made a donation of ZWL$350 000 that will go towards up-scaling the university’s capacity and increase the availability of sanitizers in the country to enhance efforts of fighting COVID-19.
AU department of Public Health and Nursing head Dr Eltony Mugomeri confirmed the development stating that production had already begun and the sanitizers will soon be on the market at a highly subsidized prices.
Dr Mugomeri said AU has ramped up protection measures to protect its students who are still domiciled at institution having failed to travel to their respective countries for various reasons chief among them being the closure of airlines across the continent.
“We combine ethanol which must be at least 70 percent in alcohol concentration, with glycerin for moisturization.
We expect the initial phase of production to be done in the next two weeks- one week to procure the required material and the second week for the production.
“While there are 18 confirmed cases in Zimbabwe, including three deaths, no cases have been recorded in Manicaland province,” said Dr Mugomeri.
Professor Munashe Furusa hailed the efforts of Old Mutual and partners from various sectors who have collaborated with institution in the project, in the fight against the global pandemic.
He said the collaborative model initiated by Old Mutual in response to the COVID 19 pandemic was important in building sustainable communities.
“The collaborative model initiated by Old Mutual to urgently address health challenges facing our nation and to build strong safe and sustainable communities.
“We are (also) grateful to other businesses our friends and partners across the globe who are providing resources to drive research on viruses in order to facilitate a better understanding and mitigation strategies.
“As we reflect on the happenings of the past few weeks we are concerned and share with the en tire continent and globe a sense of urgency to reinvent our institutions, our mechanisms and our strategies in response to this adversity,” said Prof Furusa.
AU has also reached out to the community by donating to three hand washing units as well as cleansing material including soap and bleach to the Zimbabwe Republic Police station in Penhalonga.