June 7 ------ Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos are reminded to continue following safety measures such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks and frequent hand washing. According to a report on “Stand for Truth” on Wednesday, the World Health Organization earlier said contactless hand washing is more advisable to prevent the spread of the virus. However, due to expensive automatic sensors, several Filipinos were inspired to create pedal-operated dispensers.
Lito Ortiz, who is known for making metal and glass products such as aquariums, said he and his children started making pedal-operated dispensers as donations to hospitals and agencies in Cavite. “Napapanood namin sa mga balita na maraming mga tao na nagdo-donate ng mga face shield, mask, gloves, suits para sa mga doktor so naisip ko mag-isip ng kakaiba,” he said. Ortiz said the dispensers they make has a 30-liter capacity, which is good for alcohol or water.
“Maliit na bagay pero makakatulong sa mga frontliner,” he said. Aside from Ortiz, a group of friends led by Dr. Malotte de Torres also decided to build hands-free washing stations as donations to several health centers, check points and markets. Meanwhile, a team of Filipino engineers and teachers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia also recently developed a pedal-operated hand washer to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The team developed two prototypes of the hand-washer, the first of which was used as the model for the production of 300 units which were installed around the capital. Meanwhile, the second prototype was used by other Federal Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to invent units for localities in the country. The technology was developed upon the request of the TVET Institute and Center for Excellence in Engineering Deputy Director Eniyew Getnet Bitew.