Dunedin scientist set raise awareness about hand sanitiser

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Helping hand ... University of Otago School of Pharmacy lecturer Dr Shyamal Das is raising awareness about hand sanitiser. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A Dunedin scientist is set to lead six free workshops teaching children about hand sanitiser.
When Covid-19 hit New Zealand and hand sanitiser supplies were down, University of
Otago School of Pharmacy lecturer Dr Shyamal Das decided to act.
He and a team of students volunteered to produce 1200 litres of medical-grade hand sani
tiser in a Dunedin laboratory, to give to organisations in need, saving time, money and reducing the risk of infection for thousands of New Zealanders.
As part of the New Zealand International Science Festival, Dr Das was set to lead six workshops in North Dunedin on Sunday and Monday.
The workshops — aimed at children aged 10 and older who have a curiosity about science
— would teach topics including how hand sanitiser was made and works.
“We will then show how we prepare hand sanitiser in the laboratory and how to differentiate a substandard hand sanitiser from a standard one.”
As the free 1-hour workshops were held in a laboratory, numbers were restricted to 20 people per session.
During the pandemic there had been ‘‘worrying’’ reports about people misusing hand sanitiser so some people would benefit from learning more about it, Dr Das said.
“I feel this is another great opportunity to create awareness about safe use of hand sanitisers and demonstrate how a pharmaceutical scientist can help the community.’’