Clock time 4:00 pm. A group of students wearing white aprons are cleaning the lab equipment and waiting for another team. The team that is bringing some of the required chemicals from Dhaka. This was the image of the lab of Cumilla University Department of Pharmacy on March 16, 2020. The government had already declared all educational institutions in the country closed as precaution in the fightagainst the Novel Corona virus.
The Pharmacy department students have been working hard,without folding their hands, when the price of masks and hand sanitiserswent beyond purchasing power due to dishonest businessmen. They came forward voluntarily from sense of responsibility to the country and society with joy and a great purpose in their hearts. Due to their hard work hand sanitisersarenow available everywhere at low cost.After the first Covid-19 infection in China in December, the virus gradually spread worldwidemaking the world totally inert. More than six lakh people in 199 countries have been infected so far. More than twenty eight thousand people have died till March 28, 2020. Initially in Bangladesh,it started spreadingfrom people arriving from abroad. Recently, community transmission of Covid-19 started happening. Meanwhile, the price of masks, hand sanitisers increased four-five times.
On March 15, our teachers suggested that since we work with chemicals in the lab regularly, we can make hand sanitisers to be easily available for people everywhere. We gladly accepted the proposal and immediately informed all studentsof pharmacy department for fundraising. On thatday we made three hundredbottles of hand sanitiser, funded by students, teachers and Cumilla University Pharmacy Society (CUPS). We worked from 8.00 pm to 1.30 am and finished the work according to the World Health Organization (WHO) formula. The teachers always supervised our work. The encouragement we received from everyone is the best reward we have ever had as pharmacists.
The following day, with the help of the Honourable Vice Chancellor of Cumilla University, Imran Kabir Chowdhury, we prepared thousand bottles of hand sanitiser. These were distributed on the morning of March 17, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Several television channels broadcast our work live.Various newspapers also published reports. Couldn’t imagine how a good initiative ofsome night-time work got so much positive response. Many of our friends who had left for home also came back to work. We wish the work to go on without stopping for financial reasons. Our initiative may besmall compared to the situation. However, we tried our best to keep people safe in time of danger. Everyone must adhere to hygiene.Be careful, stay safe.
Md. Jahid Hassan, Department of Pharmacy, Cumilla University