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How to Manufacture Alcohol Hand Rub: Training video launched to support COVID-19 response

29 May 2020


The Commonwealth Pharmacists Association announces the launch of a training video to support local pharmacy teams in the production of World Health Organisation formula alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

This training resource has been produced to support Infection Prevention and Control in hospitals and prevent the spread of infections, including COVID-19.

Eighteen months on from the inception of the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme, the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) has produced this short training resource for healthcare professionals to guide them on the manufacture of alcohol hand rub in pharmacy manufacturing units (a longer version, consisting of the animation and associated interviews can be viewed here.

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, commented on this newly launched initiative: “I commend this very practical initiative of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association. By making available in very clear and readily accessible format the detailed instructions needed for pharmacists locally to prepare hand sanitiser safely, the video will help them to offer this vitally important product in communities where constraints of supply and distribution have made it unavailable or prohibitively expensive. The video is a shining example of Commonwealth cooperation that can deliver immediate benefit in the poorer and more marginalised communities of our 54 member countries.”

This timely collaboration has involved volunteer pharmacists and others across three continents. It guides health professionals through a step-by-step process for production of alcohol hand rub using the World Health Organisation (WHO) formulation and guidance.  The training video was inspired by the Brighton-Lusaka NHS health partnership.

This response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an extension of the CwPAMS programme. In 2018 the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced £1.3 million of UK Aid to support the establishment of partnerships between NHS staff and their clinical counterparts in Commonwealth nations to enhance antimicrobial stewardship measures including infection prevention and control (IPC) with the aim of reducing the major global health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The CPA, in partnership with the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), delivers the CwPAMS programme. The scheme is currently working across 12 UK NHS Trusts and hospitals in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The learning and benefits from health partnerships is truly bidirectional, and UK NHS pharmacists and other health workers are now using skills gained through these projects to support the domestic response to COVID-19.

Whilst the roots of this initiative remain in the CwPAMS programme, the reach of this training video is much broader – it is truly global.

Ben Simms, CEO of THET, commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how interconnected our health systems are. This video is a brilliant insight in to how the NHS is engaging across borders in ways that safeguard the health of citizens at home, and those in some of the world’s poorest countries. Our hope is that it will lead to even more structured engagement by NHS staff in global health activities in the future.”

The development of this training resource was supported with funds from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Rotary Club of Ipswich – Orwell.

For more information visit: www.commonwealthpharmacy.org.


This post was written by:

Victoria Rutter, Executive Director, CPA - Sarah Cavanagh, International Partnerships Lead, CPA


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