Dubai students, teachers learn to make hand sanitisers
Dubai - The varsity is also putting together the necessary documentation in order to file a patent for the herbal sanitiser.
By Saman Haziq
Published: Fri 13 Mar 2020, 11:00 PM
Last updated: Sat 21 Mar 2020, 2:59 PM
With news reports of hand sanitisers flying off the shelves amid Covid-19 concerns, students and teachers of some institutes have come out with an alternative feasible solution - make your own personal disinfectant.
After Amity University Dubai set up sanitiser stations across the campus as a prevention measure, they received feedback from students on the brands being used and their adverse effects on people with sensitive skin. Following this, members of the university's science department decided to create an option that is natural and herbal.
The Amity University Dubai School of Science faculty then started working on creating a cost effective herbal sanitiser that can be shared with the community at large. The committee comprising associate professor of Chemistry Dr Dinesh Chand Sharma; assistant professor of nanotechnology Dr Asha Madhavan; lecturer of nanotechnology Reshmi Nair; life science lecturer Sudha Bhatia and lab assistant Joyce Simbajon, worked for 10 days at the varsity's laboratories to develop a herbal sanitiser.
"Our sanitisers comprise of natural and herbal ingredients, no hazardous chemicals or reagents have been used. It is important to note that using hand sanitisers can often lower one's resistance to diseases by killing good bacteria, which helps protect us against bad bacteria. Natural sanitisers, like the one developed by our faculty also aim to reduce the risk of unpleasant skin conditions sometimes caused by commercial sanitiser use, such as contact dermatitis. Apart from rubbing alcohol (important ingredient to eliminate viruses), our key ingredients include natural aloe vera gel that contains antioxidants, enzymes, Vitamins A and C," said one of the professors from the research team.
The varsity is also putting together the necessary documentation in order to file a patent for the herbal sanitiser.
Grade 6 students with novel idea
In another small school in Deira, students, while conducting awareness sessions in smaller classes, came across a similar problem that led them to prepare sanitisers at school. Grade 6 students of Little Flower English School under the supervision of the teachers, principal and a school doctor dedicated one whole day in preparing and teaching the preparation of hand sanitisers at home to their entire school.
"While conducting awareness sessions to prevent spread of Covid-19, a number of students complained that they were not finding sanitisers and also many said these were priced steeply. This led to a brainstorming session where students came up with a plan to make hand sanitisers at home. This led the school committee comprising students and teachers to conduct researches for around two weeks to see if they could make a hand sanitiser themselves and came up with a preparation under the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organisation guidelines," said Rekha S Vijay, head of science department at the school.
"We found out that the sanitiser needs to have at least 60 per cent concentration of rubbing alcohol in order to be effective in killing germs, we also used 40 per cent aloe vera gel as that is required to moisturise our skin. We also added some olive oil and few drops of essential oil. We introduced it to the students who found the consistency of the sanitiser perfectly matching with that of the one they get in the market. We will be consulting an expert doctor to verify the effectiveness of this self-made sanitiser."