Press Release: How to Manufacture Alcohol Hand Rub – Training video launched to support COVID-19 response

Press Release: How to Manufacture Alcohol Hand Rub – Training video launched to support COVID-19 response

Press Release:

How to Manufacture Alcohol Hand Rub: Training video launched to support COVID-19 response

  • The Commonwealth Pharmacists Association announces the launch of a training video to support local pharmacy teams in the production of World Health Organisation formula alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • This training resource has been produced to support Infection Prevention and Control in hospitals and prevent the spread of infections, including COVID-19


Eighteen months on from the inception of the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme, the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) has produced this short training resource for healthcare professionals to guide them on the manufacture of alcohol hand rub in pharmacy manufacturing units (a longer version, consisting of the animation and associated interviews.

How to Manufacture Alcohol Hand Rub: Training video launched to support COVID-19 response

A version of the animation with additional associated interviews can be viewed here

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC commented on this newly launched initiative:

“I commend this very practical initiative of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association. By making available in very clear and readily accessible format the detailed instructions needed for pharmacists locally to prepare hand sanitiser safely, the video will help them to offer this vitally important product in communities where constraints of supply and distribution have made it unavailable or prohibitively expensive. The video is a shining example of Commonwealth cooperation that can deliver immediate benefit in the poorer and more marginalised communities of our 54 member countries.”

This timely collaboration has involved volunteer pharmacists and others across three continents. It guides health professionals through a step-by-step process for production of alcohol hand rub using the World Health Organisation (WHO) formulation and guidance.  The training video was inspired by the Brighton-Lusaka NHS health partnership.

This response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an extension of the CwPAMS programme. CwPAMS (Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship) is a health partnership programme funded by the UK aid Fleming Fund to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally. CwPAMS is managed by the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET), an international NGO with expertise in delivering global health partnerships.

CwPAMS supports partnerships between the UK NHS and academic institutions and institutions in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to work together on AMS initiatives. It aims to enhance implementation of protocols and evidenced based decision making to support antimicrobial prescribing, as well as capacity for antimicrobial use surveillance. Further information about CwPAMS is available via

The Fleming Fund is a £265 million UK aid investment to tackle antimicrobial resistance by supporting low- and middle-income countries to generate, use and share data on AMR. The programme is managed by the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

The scheme is currently working across 12 UK NHS Trusts and hospitals in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The learning and benefits from health partnerships is truly bidirectional, and UK NHS pharmacists and other health workers are now using skills gained through these projects to support the domestic response to COVID-19.

Whilst the roots of this initiative remain in the CwPAMS programme, the reach of this training video is much broader – it is truly global.

The development of this training resource was supported with funds from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Rotary Club of Ipswich-Orwell.


For more information:, @CW_Pharmacists

Victoria Rutter, Executive Director:

Sarah Cavanagh, International Partnerships Lead:

Thoughts from colleagues on the frontline in Zambia: 

“Our role does not end here, we hope we will be able to reach other facilities and be able to train them, so they can start producing hand rub”

 Chitundu Mbao, Senior Pharmacist, Ndola Teaching Hospital, Zambia

“This initiative is helping us with the current situation of the outbreak of COVID-19. We are happy that we are able to produce more hand sanitiser in-house and are able to meet the demand.”

 Luke Alutuli Chief Pharmacist Lusaka, University Teaching Hospital Zambia

Tweet from colleagues in the Brighton-Lusaka partnership: 

Keith Ridge, NHS England Chief Pharmaceutical Officer:

“At extremely challenging times like the ones we all find ourselves in, it’s great to see the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association providing practical and straightforward advice on a cost-effective approach to hand sanitisation in low- and middle-income countries. Simple measures like this can make a huge difference to patient care, and shows again the value of NHS pharmacy staff collaborating with colleagues and institutions overseas”

Victoria Rutter, Executive Director, CPA:

“This video was produced as a direct extension of the Commonwealth Partnerships in Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme, with the support of the Commonwealth in memory of Dr Mbololwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, health advisor to the Secretariat. Mbololwa was originally from Zambia and she would have been extremely proud of the UK-Zambian partnership that led the production of this video and of the truly bidirectional learning it has given the opportunity for. This reflects the spirit of both the CPA and the Commonwealth and we hope this initiative helps support the unwavering efforts of the many pharmacists and healthcare teams on the front line tackling COVID19 around the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Ben Simms, Chief Executive Officer, THET:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how interconnected our health systems are. This video is a brilliant insight in to how the NHS is engaging across borders in ways that safeguard the health of citizens at home, and those in some of the world’s poorest countries. Our hope is that it will lead to even more structured engagement by NHS staff in global health activities in the future.”

Sarah Cavanagh, International Partnerships Lead, CPA:

“Working with our colleagues and counterparts in other countries has provided unique and invaluable learning for our NHS volunteers. Many are now leading the COVID-19 repose in their respective hospitals and using newfound skills and perspectives including the use of digital technology and collaborative working to maximise the impact of our domestic response to COVID-19.”

Video development team

(Left to right – top row) Diane Ashiru-Oredope (Global AMR Lead, CPA), Victoria Rutter (Executive Director, CPA), Anja St. Clair-Jones (Consultant Pharmacist Gastroenterology and CwPAMS NHS volunteer, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust) and Fiona Rees (Specialist Pharmacist – Gastroenterology Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, CwPAMS NHS volunteer and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Global Health Fellow), Samrina Bhatti (CwPAMS NHS volunteer and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Clinical Fellow 2018/19)

(Middle row) Mercy Mpuku (pharmacist and video production support), Luke Alutuli (Chief Pharmacist) and Patrick Musabula (Pharmacist – all Lusaka, Zambia, University Teaching Hospitals), Jones Abban (Parables Animation, Ghana), Sarah Cavanagh (International Partnership Lead, CPA)

(Bottom row) Amber Cavanagh (Technical Support), Beatrice Katoni (IPC nurse) and Chitundu Mbao (Pharmacist both – Ndola Teaching Hospital Zambia), Ayesha Iqbal (Membership and Engagement Officer, CPA)