The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) donated 48,000 single-use paper soaps and three units of pedal-operated handwashing devices to two medical facilities in Zamboanga del Sur to beef up their response against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The recipients of the donation are the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center (ZDSMC) in Pagadian City and the Margosatubig Regional Hospital (MRH) in Margosatubig, Zamboanga del Sur.
In a statement Monday, DOST-9 Director Martin Wee said ZCSMC received two handwashing devices and 32,000 pieces of the paper soaps while MRH was the recipient of the remaining 16,000 soaps and one hand washing unit.
Wee said the single-use paper soaps help prevent inter-person contamination by eliminating the sharing and reusing of bar soaps and ensures separate, individual hand washing through one-time-use, fast-dissolving soap sheets.
The pedal-operated handwashing system removes the faucet tap contact point and allows users to control the flow of water using a foot pedal, thereby greatly reducing the potential spread of bacteria and viruses, he added.
He said the design and development of paper soap and handwashing machines have been made possible through the collaborative efforts of the DOST regional office, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU)-Pagadian City Campus, and Zamboanga del Sur provincial government.
The paper soap was developed through a research initiative Julienne Stephanie Agapin and Ferlyn Calanda of the WMSU-Pagadian City Campus while the pedal-operated handwashing system was the initiative of Eulie Teope, a DOST-Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) cooperator and local inventor.
Meanwhile, Wee said the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) in Zamboanga del Sur is pushing for the inclusion of the paper soap in the DOST’s Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) Program, which aims to generate solutions by synergizing the industry, academe, and various research and development institutions.
Wee said the DOST is also taking steps to acquire patenting for the pedal-operated hand washing device. (PNA)