The University of Venda (UNIVEN)’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences through the leadership of the Dean, Prof Natasha Potgieter has recently put together a Hygiene team that is made up of staff and students from Four (04) University departments to come up with a response to mitigate the effects of Coronavirus. The team is made up of members from the University’s departments of Microbiology, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Botany and so far, hand sanitiser and disinfectant have been produced and more volumes are anticipated. 

Some members of a hygiene group busy producing sanitiser and surface disinfectant at the Lab

Prof Natasha Potgieter said that the University management saw a need to produce these sanitisers internally for the benefit of the University’s staff and students and to minimize the exposure of the University community of contracting this novel Coronavirus. Prof Potgieter stated that the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences have the expertise and both the staff and postgraduate students were eager to get involved in this project and wanted to do their part in combatting the spread of the virus. She said it is important that people become aware of their behaviour and be pro-active by always carrying the hand sanitiser with them and use it as often as possible after visiting the bathroom, touching door handles, touching money and any other object that might be touched or handled by several people. 

The hand sanitiser is made from ethanol, glycerol and essential oils (sourced from different plants) to keep your hands moisturised while disinfecting them. The surface disinfectant is a diluted hypochlorite solution and is used to disinfect all windows and working surfaces. The University is in the process of looking at the potential of making these products available to the community at a reasonable price together with proper hygiene education brochures as part of the community engagement activities and social responsibility. 

Prof Natasha Potgieter (2nd from left) and UNIVEN hygiene group that produces sanitiser and surface disinfectant posing for a photo

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 23 March 2020 

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