UP’s social contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.
As of 15th April 2020, across the World there were1,999,892 cases, 126,741 deaths and 483,501 recovered. As of 10 a.m. on 15th April 2020, Cambodia has a total number of 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with no deaths. All schools in in Cambodia have been closed. Cambodian people are much concerned about getting infected by COVID-19 as well as the economic impacts of mass unemployment and a World recession.
World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic and strongly encouraged hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practice.
The demand of hand sanitizers is increased dramatically as they are served as disinfectant for hand washing. Unfortunately, some Cambodian’s are not able to purchase hand sanitizers for their personal health protection due to the high price and limited availability.
Responding to this global problem, UP’s Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) has developed and produced handrub solution in accordance with WHO-Recommended Handrub Formulation for using inside the campus and more widely across the community. Currently, the demand and price of ethanol is sharply increased in Cambodia pandemic as it is used as disinfectant and raw material for producing hand sanitizers. Illegal dangerous producers sometimes use methanol as a cheap substitute for ethanol however that can cause death for human beings.
In addition to producing handrub, FoP has developed a method to detect methanol for customers, sellers or individuals who want to confirm the safety of their handrub
The following highlighted items are the achievements which the FoP has contributed to Cambodian society during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • FoP had produced 350 bottles of handrubs to distribute freely to people living in Koh Kong community in January 2020.
  • 2000 bottles of handrubs have been freely distributed to students, faculties and staffs of UP. In toilets, meeting rooms, front office, administrative office, finger print places, entrance gates around UP campus are placed with handrubs for hand washing.
  • FoP has kept producing handrubs in the lower price to serve the society even though the price raw materials and packaging has increased rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 4121 bottles of handrubs have been made for our local community.
  • FoP has participated in controlling the safety of alcoholic hand sanitizers by identifying methanol with iodoform test and qualitative method of WHO basic toxicology analysis. 25 samples have been sent and tested in the pharmacy laboratory.
  • FoP handrubs were used in the exam venues during National Exit Examination held from the 13th to 15th of March 2020.