Locally-made hand sanitiser distributed to aged care facilities, GP clinics

Date published: 27 April 2020

Townsville City Council and Sun Metals have joined forces to distribute hand sanitiser to aged care facilities and GP’s across the city.

Sun Metals have been making the medical-grade sanitiser in their fully accredited labs and are donating it to facilities that have had trouble sourcing it due to shortages across the country.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) Chair and Mayor Jenny Hill said this is a fantastic example of cross-community collaboration during a time of need.

“COVID-19 is unlike anything our city has dealt with and there have been unique challenges such as the lack of supply of sanitiser that needs to be overcome,” Cr Hill said.

“The donation of medical-grade sanitiser by Sun Metals to our aged care facilities or any other health organisations that are running low will play a critical role in keeping our community safe during the pandemic.

“It’s great that Council was able to be involved in this process through the Aged Care Partnership group and by having staff deliver the sanitiser to its destination.”

Sun Metals has the capabilities to make 80 litres per week in excess.

Sun Metals Executive Director and CFO Kathy Danaher said that Sun Metals is pleased to be able to give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sun Metals is very pleased to be able giving back to the community in this way,” Ms Danaher said.

“Our team is largely based here in Townsville, so very early following the outbreak, we were in contact with the Department of State Development in the Queensland Government and with Townsville City Council, to see how we could help to alleviate some of the shortages we were seeing across the community.”

Good Shepard Acting Chief Executive Officer Kim Neilsen said that hand sanitiser is crucial as one of the first lines of defence against illness.

“Hand sanitiser is one the first lines of defence for staff and residents in aged care, particularly while we are working to protect our elders from COVID-19. We use it prior to entering the building, prior to entering and after leaving residents rooms, and a million other times a day,” Ms Neilsen said.

“Because of the pandemic, the usual suppliers of these products have had very limited stock and aged care facilities have been at real risk of running out.

“We are very grateful that Sun Metals decided to manufacture the hand sanitiser, and to work with the TLDMG to distribute it free of charge to the aged care facilities in Townsville. It shows the strength of the Townsville community and has provided us with support that is very welcome.”

NQPHN Executive Director (Townsville) Melissa Freestun said NQPHN was pleased to be able to help with the distribution of the valuable donation to general practices across the Townsville community.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to Sun Metals and Townsville City Council for this positive community initiative,” said Ms Freestun.

"The supply of medical grade hand sanitiser to more than 50 Townsville general practices will support our local community to stay safe.

“It’s really important to keep up to date with your regular health care – whether face to face or via telehealth – during the COVID-19 pandemic

“General practices are open for business, and patients should not be afraid to keep their appointments with their GP for preventive health, wellbeing support or management of a chronic condition.

“The risk of contracting COVID-19 while visiting the doctor in person remains low and neglecting regular check-ups to manage a chronic disease can result in serious health issues down the track.

“Patients who are due for regular check-ups should contact their practice to determine whether they should attend face to face or arrange a teleconference.”