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22.03.2020 Regional News

COVID-19: Equip Akpeteshie Producers To Boost Quality Of Hand Sanitizers—Gov’t Urged

By Samuel Dowuona
Ing. Dr. Bright SogbeyIng. Dr. Bright Sogbey
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A Ghanaian Engineer and Scientist is urging the government to support locally distilled alcohol (Akpeteshie) producers to make quality Akpeteshie, which is a raw material for hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ing. Dr. Bright Sogbey is President of Science and Technology Advocacy Renaissance for Africa and he said "COVID-19 calls for local ingenuity and industrial domestication regarding the accoutrements in fighting the disease."

He added that this is the time Ghana should look at locally distilled alcohol from our countryside, the villages for that matter, as alcohol plays a major role in the production of sanitizers.

His call comes at a time when scientists from Noguchi Memorial Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Development Studies have said that the alcohol content of Akpeteshie is less than the 70% required in hand sanitizers.

They have therefore cautioned persons using Akpeteshie as hand sanitizers to quit it because it is not effective.

But Dr. Sogbey thinks that instead of ruling out the locally distilled alcohol industry, the government should rather think about how to equip them for quality output, so as to have raw materials for the production of hand sanitizers.

"In the end, not only will it curb importation of pharmaceutical raw materials in the manufacture of sanitizers, but also create jobs as well as add value to the local currency," he argued.

He said it is also time the country saw the urgent need to collaborate with the Ghana Institution of Engineering to device means of developing local implements to assist the pharmaceutical companies in the quest to domesticate our preparedness to fight COVID-19.

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