ITS Campus, ITS News – The high demand for hand sanitizers due to the Coronavirus or the Covid-19 pandemic, caused the scarcity of the supply of these antiseptic liquid products in the market. Considering that condition, the ITS Chancellor instructed the ITS Technical Preparedness Team of Covid-19 to self-produce hand sanitizers that meet the standards set by World Health Organization (WHO) so that ITS could help supply medical facilities with the said hand sanitizers.
Susi A Wilujeng M.T., Head of the ITS Eco Campus Unit, explained that the ITS hand sanitizers are results of advanced production that was only used for internal purposes during graduation at the campus. Now, the production of hand sanitizers are being accomplished by the ITS Technical Preparedness Team of Covid-19, specifically the hand sanitizer supply division which is led by Prof. Dr. Hamzah Fansuri M.Si., ITS Dean of the Faculty of Data Science and Analysis.
Susi further admitted that the production of hand sanitizers has increased with the concept of donation-production-contribution. The production team consists of numerous lecturers from the Department of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Environmental Engineering. As of Tuesday (7/4), ITS has actively supplied up to 13 hospitals, 34 community health centers (puskesmas), 10 clinics, 3 social foundations such as cancer foundation and nursing homes, as well as the Indonesian Doctors Association Surabaya.
“The hand sanitizers produced by ITS has been widely distributed outside of Surabaya, reaching Sidoarjo, Gresik, Bojonegoro, until Central Java, Brebes. It was even ordered by an alumni of ITS with hopes of bringing it to Sangata, Kalimantan,” mentioned Susi, a member of the ITS Technical Preparedness Team of Covid-19 in the division of the hand sanitizer supply.
In the production process, this ITS lecturer of the Department of Environmental Engineering admitted that six students of the Department of Chemistry also volunteered to help. Due to the good synergy between every element in this campus, ITS gains the ability to produce an average of 200-300 iters of hand sanitizer every day. “As of Tuesday (7/4), the production of hand sanitizer has reached 2,200 liters and it is not impossible to target 5,000 liters by next week,” elaborated Susi.
Furthermore, Susi pointed out that these hand sanitizers that were produced at the ITS Robotics Center Building had easy access of the raw materials needed, due to the collaboration between ITS and several companies owned by its alumni, as part of their effort in the prevention of the spread of Covid-19. Therefore, ITS gets a supply of raw materials at special prices because it is free of duty. In addition to that, ITS has implemented a charity system that eases the delivery of hand sanitizer requests to certain medical facilities.
Susi then pointed out that her team produces hand sanitizers in accordance to WHO’s standardized formula. The ingredients used include ethanol with a concentration of 80 percent, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol, distilled water, and essential oils. “To be able to optimize the eradication of germs and viruses, a hand sanitizer must contain more than 70 percent alcohol composition,” she said.
Describing the function of other ingredients, Susi revealed that glycerol plays a role in moisturizing the hands after using a hand sanitizer. Meanwhile, hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxidizer that deactivates the contamination of bacteria and viruses, and essential oils such as mint leaves provide a cool and soothing sensation to the body of the user.
Susi also emphasized that although the production of hand sanitizers are currently being intensified, washing hands with soap and water still remains as the best choice when clean water is available. Hand sanitizers are only used in urgent situations as well as in cases of medical workers in medical facilities who are unable to freely visit the toilet due to the constant arrival of patients. Even so, hand sanitizers can still be used by the general public if it is indeed difficult to access clean water or soap such as in travels.
“Hopefully, the needs of all medical facilities of hand sanitizers that meet the standards of WHO can be fulfilled at an affordable price and are also easily obtained,” she concluded. (ra/ory/ITS Public Relations)
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