Tamale Teaching Hospital Pharmacy produces chlorine from common salt

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The Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) has taken another giant step towards infection prevention and control by producing chlorine for use at the facility and other health institutions.

The TTH Pharmacy Manufacturing Team began on-site generation of liquid chlorine, the first of its kind in the country, and the approach has yielded overwhelming success since its inception in April, this year.

Dr Hamidu Abdulai, Director of Pharmacy at TTH, who announced this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tamale, said several quality control tests conducted by the Pharmacy Manufacturing Team had consistently proven the high quality of the chlorine being produced.

He said, since April the TTH had produced and supplied liquid chlorine to various units and departments through its collaboration with Aqua Research LLC.

Key amongst these units are the COVID-19 isolation, treatment and testing centres, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Intensive Care Unit, laboratories, theatres and wards, where the product was used for fumigation.

He said besides the economic benefit of on-site generated chlorine to the TTH, in terms of its affordability and sustainability, users of the product, including nurses, midwives, doctors and cleaners had attested to its potency, effectiveness and convenience.

Chlorine is a strong and widely used disinfectant for deactivating pathogenic microorganisms in drinking water, swimming pools and wastewater, for disinfection of household area, health care institutions and laundry.

The World Health Organization recognises chlorine as a key disinfectant in infection prevention and control, especially at health care institutions, and liquid chlorine is also used for decontamination of surgical equipment, medical devices, instruments, bodily fluids and blood spills, and for disinfection of patient care areas.

Following the Ebola Pandemic in Africa from 2014 to 2016, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a chlorine concentration of 0.4 percent to 0.5% (4,000 to 5,000 mg/l) to be used in health care settings for surface cleaning where it is not directly exposed to skin.

For washing or rinsing hands, the CDC recommended a concentration of 500 mg/l, and studies have shown that chlorine used for surface cleaning results in 99.9% or greater kill of viruses and bacteria.

The GNA gathered that the TTH’s on-site generator system produced liquid chlorine as mixed oxidant solution at a concentration of 5,000 mg/l through the electrolysis of sodium chloride (Brine), and the system unit was capable of producing 4.8 litres of liquid chlorine per hour and would operate continuously as long as salt and water are available.

The mixed oxidant solution included chlorine as sodium hypochlorite but also small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, and this combination made it more effective as a disinfectant than just sodium hypochlorite at 0.8%.

Dr Abdulai said TTH was working hard with support of its Board Chairman, Mr Nasirdeen Mahmoud to expand production to fully meet the demand of the institution and that of other health institutions, public and private facilities.

The TTH Pharmacy Manufacturing Team had also produced alcohol-based hand sanitisers, which are being used at the facility and by the public to keep themselves safe from the Coronavirus pandemic.


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