The working group of the "Upscaling Sanitizing Production in Thailand and Promoting Hand Hygiene" project comprising the Healthcare Accreditation Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) - HAI, B.Braun (Thailand) Ltd., and GIZ Thailand paid a visit to Mr. Thanes Dusitsuntornkul, MD., Director of Sena Hospital, Ayutthaya province to hand over 4,200 bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to support the hospital in responding to COVID-19.
"During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand in August, most hospitals, especially those in red zones, became increasingly burdened with extra work to cope with the COVID-19 situation. Healthcare workers were at the highest risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. Fortunately, the German government has approved a project to increase the production of hand sanitizer and promote hand hygiene, offering the opportunity to HAI to work hand in hand with GIZ and B.Braun (Thailand) Ltd. to provide alcohol gel to 62 hospitals in COVID-19 red zones since April 2021. These hospitals thus have enough alcohol gel for use during the pandemic. As a result, both healthcare workers and patients can clean their hands more thoroughly and efficiently. In addition, we are producing an e-learning training module on hand hygiene, which will be completed and released by November, to help strengthen hand-hygiene compliance and prevent infection with COVID-19 among healthcare workers," said Dr. Kittinan Anakamanee MD., CEO of the Healthcare Accreditation Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) - HAI.
Miss Petchada Usanapong, Deputy Country Director of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia added: "We are delighted to hear that the project's activities have enabled healthcare workers and patients to have sufficient quantities of hand sanitizer during the pandemic because frequent hand washing is one way to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Furthermore, the project also supports low-income farmers of GIZ's agriculture and food programme to have access to good quality hand sanitizer and information on how to protect themselves from COVID-19. To date, the project has delivered a total of 157,536 bottles of alcohol gel to 62 hospitals in COVID-19 red zones throughout Thailand. We will deliver 90,000 bottles of alcohol gel to 15,000 farmer families in Roi Et, Ubon Ratchathani, Surin, Suphan Buri, Chainat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Ayutthaya provinces within November."
Mr. Sayan Roy, Managing Director of B. Braun (Thailand) Ltd. said: "As the pandemic continues all over the world, including Thailand there was shortage of quality hand sanitizers along with uncertainty on the standards in the alcohol hand sanitizers to fight against COVID-19. B. Braun (Thailand) Ltd. understands all too well that it was difficult to find quality raw materials for alcohol production during the pandemic. We have not only upscaled alcohol gel production to meet public demand but also ensuring good practices in hand hygiene for the COVID-19 situation. Our product, SOFTA-GEL alcohol hand rub, which is being donated to hospitals under this project has been tested according to global testing standards EN14476 efficacy against enveloped viruses, which includes Coronavirus. It is a medical grade hand sanitizer of high quality that is different from most-cosmetic grade alcohol gels sold on the market. It also contains moisturizing ingredients that won't make hands dry or feel sticky, so the users feel comfortable cleaning their hands as often as they want. We are happy to collaborate with GIZ and HAI for this project in this outbreak."
Mr. Suppasan Suttipattanangkul, professional pharmacist at Sena hospital, noted: "Before the outbreak of COVID-19, we could produce alcohol for use in Sena Hospital. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in Thailand, the raw materials for producing alcohol became scarce and the price rose drastically. We couldn't produce alcohol anymore and we had a shortage of alcohol for hand washing. The support from the project has helped improve the situation, especially in August when there was a cluster in a factory in Sena district. Sena Hospital had to open 5 cohort wards and there was a high demand for alcohol. With the support from the project, we now have sufficient alcohol gels to provide at different points of care in the hospital. We can also distribute the alcohol gels to the vaccination unit in the hospital and the mobile vaccination units that provide the service to vulnerable groups in communities, as well as 3 Community Isolation Centers. Thanks to the project, our healthcare workers and patients now have sufficient alcohol gel to clean their hands properly."