25 May 2020
In response to the fight against COVID-19, U.S. Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative for activities in Malaysia in partnership with the Malaysia Biotechnology Students’ Association (MYBIOSA) and several other NGOs, has initiated “function of Science” to mobilize multiple free hand sanitizer production facilities in university laboratories across Malaysia.
Mr. Murali Prasad, from GIST, stated that “The government is making a good effort to protect hospital staff but there appears to be lesser attention given to e.g. a petrol pump attendant, garbage collector, refugee, etc. To contain the virus as soon as possible, a holistic approach is required across every single person in society.” function of Science has established the capacity to produce 400litre/day of WHO-recommended hand sanitizer formulations from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
In Phase 1 – by May 12th, 2020, function of Science produced 15,000 hand sanitizers for free distribution primarily to the B40, front-liners, and essential service providers operating in MOH-designated yellow, orange and red zones – in ALL states across Malaysia. As of May 25, 2020, they have successfully reached their goal by delivering 17,000 hand sanitizer bottles in multiple locations across Malaysia. The work has been featured in Astro Awani, The Edge Markets, Harian Metro and Sinar Harian, and U.S. Embassy’s official Facebook page.
function of Science is now preparing for Phase 2 with MYBIOSA. Mr. Ayappa V. Subramaniam, Chairman of MYBIOSA said “We have sent out a call for collaboration letter through Jabatan Pendidikan Tinggi (JPT), which JPT efficiently disseminated to the local universities across Malaysia and have been receiving some response. However, the number of universities responding is not enough for us to continue in phase 2.” He said they are still seeking the interest of all the public and private universities in Malaysia to join this initiative and create a temporary free hand sanitizer distribution facility to its immediate locality.
function of Science will aid in sourcing and supply of funding and materials required for the universities to produce hand sanitizers. The partnership in Phase 2 will allow an effective way of ensuring equal, and nationwide distribution of the free hand sanitizers – to the public and especially to people who need it the most.
“We welcome more corporate and private donors to support us in Phase 2.” Please reach out to function of Science at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any form of support in cash or kind are welcomed.
Download media release here:
**All previous posts about COVID-19 here: https://sciencemediacentremalaysia.com/tag/covid-19/