KAMPALA – Cipla Quality Chemicals Ltd, the manufacturers of ARVs and anti-malarials, have innovated a walk-through sanitiser.
Akin to a walk through metal detector, the system automatically releases a mist of the sanitiser onto the person upon entry into the booth.
This ensures all body surfaces including the hands from top to bottom are sanitized. The team led by Engineer Geoffrey Kisitu, CiplaQCIL’s head of engineering includes engineers, pharmacists and chemists.These are Hakim Simbwa, Simon Ejom, Odongo Ambrose,Thomas Mubene, Orena Emma, Geoffrey Kazibwe, Opio Samuel, Ramakant Panda and Rodgers Barungi.
The team designed and developed the prototype of the walk through booth and it’s sanitization system in a record two weeks. The system is already installed at the company’s premises at the gate entrance and under testing. Everyone that enters the facility has to walk through before accessing the factory.
The head of the project, Eng.Geofrey Kisitu says, ‘We developed this innovation after realizing that our entry point at the facility required everyone to manually sanitize and touch the sanitization system.This will make it easier and provide 360° sanitization. ‘He says,with further modification this innovation can be useful in large public spaces such as markets, sports grounds, taxi parks, hospitals among others.
The Company Pharmacist, Dr. Opio Samuel says the sanitizer used is sodium hypochlorite solution commonly used for water disinfection. This is administered as a mist instead of a liquid and are as per the WHO recommended concentrations. They therefore pose no health risk. It has been designed as per pharmaceutical engineering principles with safety in mind.
“We are also validating its performance and the optimal exposure times. The team has capabilities of making a more advanced prototype if required to adapt to changing regulatory requirements. The system sanitizes in four steps. First, the person enters the booth and the sanitization mist spray system gets activated. Secondly ,the person rotates in the booth with both arms spread out.
This ensures the clothing surfaces are exposed to the sanitizer. Thirdly, the person lifts the sole of their shoes backwards to ensure they are disinfected. Lastly, the persons move forward and lift their arms facing the direction from which the mist is coming from. They then rub their hands with the sanitizer and exit the booth.”
The CEO of CiplaQCIL, Nevin Bradford has termed it, “possibly the only or among the first walk through sanitizers in Africa.”
The Ministry of science, technology and innovation recently set up a task team to drive innovations for COVID-19.