Healthcare experts have warned Nigerians using local gin, popularly called ogogoro, as hand sanitizers to desist from it, saying it is ineffective to protect against the COVID-19 infection.
According to the experts, ogogoro has less than 60 per cent alcohol content that is required to kill viruses, adding that the ogogoro only provides a false sense of safety from the disease.
They advised the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have such high level alcoholic content of at least 60% – the higher, the better.
In the absence of hand sanitizers, thorough handwashing with soap under running water is advised by the experts.
A former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Olumide Akintayo, in an interview with Punch HealthWise said people using ogogoro as hand sanitizers will not get any value for it.
“We don’t need to create a problem that is not there while trying to solve another.
“For a standard hand sanitizer to do what it ought to do to prevent against virus, it must have a minimum of 75 percent alcohol.
“So, what you have in ogogoro is usually 40 percent rate or slightly higher, but that will certainly not do the job.
“People using ogogoro as hand sanitizer will not get any value for it. This is because, the percentage of alcohol you get in it is far less than what it should be in an ideal pharmaceutical formulation,” Akintayo warned.
The former PSN boss noted that ogogoro is usually produced for drinking and internal use but does not posses the capacity to serve as hand sanitizers.
“Ogogoro is usually formulated for consumption — for drinking and internal use. So, using it at that strength won’t serve the purpose for hand sanitizer,” he declared.
“If for any reason, you cannot afford sanitizers, any average soap will thoroughly give you the same result that you should get from hand sanitiser.
“If you constantly wash your hands, especially when you have touched hard surfaces, or when you have had contact with unkempt environment and all that, just wash your hands with soap and clean water.
“You will achieve the same effect of killing germs that is very germane to keeping yourself safe and well in this unusual and tough season that we all find ourselves in.”