Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
There remains much to learn about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, various academic institutions continue to focus on exploring the unknowns surrounding this virus whilst helping those in need. One such institution is the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Al-Farabi KazNU), which has been steadfast in its effort to contribute to the battle against COVID-19.
Fighting off Coronavirus
The researchers of the New Chemical Technologies and Materials Research Institute of Al-Farabi KazNU have recently developed an antiseptic that can be used in medical practice and in the prevention of coronavirus infection. In collaboration with Japanese colleagues from Saitama University, Al-Farabi KazNU’s team has developed key technology for the production of new effective disinfectants and skin antiseptics for treating the hands of surgeons and medical personnel, as well as the skin of surgical and injection sites. Preliminary tests in the country’s medical institutions have shown the effectiveness of the components developed, and the results have received positive feedback. The effectiveness of the antiseptics, in particular, was confirmed by the report of the accredited laboratory of M. Aikimbayev’s National Scientific Center of Especially Dangerous Infections.
Lending a helping hand
During the first days of quarantine in the country, the lack of personal protective equipment became known. Without hesitation, the Department of Health Policy and Management of Al-Farabi KazNU, led by Professor G. Zh. Kapanova, launched an initiative aimed at providing masks to the university staff. To achieve its objective, the department personnel hand-sewed face masks using materials such as gauze, cotton and others, which they bought with their own funds. Extending their contribution further, the staff also distributed disinfectants, soap, gloves and masks.
At the forefront of the pandemic fight
Amid the difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 50 undergraduates and doctoral students of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Care of Al-Farabi KazNU have stepped forward to support the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19. Currently, infectious disease specialists, pulmonologists and resuscitation experts have been working 24 hours a day at various medical institutions in Almaty. Epidemiologists are also deployed in areas with roadblocks and those under quarantine, where they help in transporting patients and contact persons.
In addition, 20 interns are working as volunteers at KazNU’s Medical Diagnostic Center and City Hospital No. 1. Here, a facility for patients who came in close contact with infected cases has been set up with 400 beds for use during the quarantine period.
Teachers of the Department of Politics and Health Organization have also played invaluable roles. They promptly initiated the sewing of reusable masks, collected special packages with disinfectants and protective equipment and distributed them all to their colleagues and students.