Covid-19 Update Featured News

Vice President Mohadi Tours MSU Incubation Hub

Vice President Honourable Kembo Mohadi, who is also the National COVID-19 Inter-Ministerial Task Force Chairperson, visited Midlands State University on Thursday 18 June 2020 to assess efforts being made by the institution in the fight against COVID-19.

MSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N Muzvidziwa briefed the Vice President on developments and projects being undertaken by the University in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘In response to the concerted efforts by our Government to contain the COVID-19 contagion, we have set up a sanitiser production plant … The plant will have a capacity to produce up to 7000 litres of hand sanitizer per day once the filling and labelling and packaging sections of the plant are automated. Currently, the production capacity of the plant is at 5000 litres per day’, he said.

Speaking after touring the sanitiser production plant housed at University’s Incubation Hub Laboratory, Vice President Mohadi, commended Midlands State University and outlined Government’s commitment to supporting research and innovation in line with Education 5.0.

‘We don’t want to have universities that produce people who go out to look for jobs, we want universities that produce jobs. We want students who after leaving university create jobs. We are very much impressed by what is happening at Midlands State University,’ he said.

Vice President Mohadi noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is not entirely a curse, but also a kind of a blessing because the nation has woken up to do things on our own. ‘We want to be self-sufficient’, said the Vice President.

Members of the National COVID -19 Inter-Ministerial Task Force and the Midlands Provincial COVID -19 Task Force accompanied the Vice President on his visit.



Covid-19 Update Featured News

Finance and Economic Development Minister Visits MSU

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube visited Midlands State University on Friday the 24th of April 2020 on a familiarisation tour that was aimed at assessing projects being undertaken by the institution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Ncube, who was accompanied by the chairman of the National Venture Fund applauded MSU for stepping up to the plate in the wake of COVID-19 and for being a development catalyst in line with Education 5.0. The Minister’s multi-pronged visit was also meant to help him and his team to identify potential projects for funding.

‘I wanted to come here and see for myself how MSU is living up to the Education 5.0 strategy and its quite clear from what you have described that you are living that strategy and am here to see how we can further support you … we have created a National Venture Fund of 500 million dollars and we are looking for projects to invest in. So, I hope that through my walkabout here we will be able to identify one or two things that we can take forward and invest in’, said the Minister.

Professor Ncube also outlined the Government’s COVID-19 strategy as well as its post-COVID-19 strategy for economic recovery. He said in the case of the former, Government’s strategies were aimed at saving lives and livelihoods, while in the case of the latter strategies would be designed to boost and support economic recovery.

In his presentation, Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa set out the various projects being carried out by the University in response to COVID-19 such as the printing of COVID-19 indigenous languages booklets that were translated by the University’s Language Institute, the manufacturing of hand sanitizer and face masks. He also highlighted other projects intended to generate third-stream income for the institution.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, concluded his visit with a tour of Midlands State University’s hand sanitizer manufacturing plant housed at the institution’s Incubation Hub, before going to the University Printing Press and face mask manufacturing site, both located in Gweru’s industrial area.

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MSU Joins the War Against COVID-19 through the Production of Hand Sanitiser and PPE

As the world continues to grapple with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) governments, corporates, institutions and individuals across the world are coming together in an effort to save the lives of infected patients and to protect those that are working on the frontline among them healthcare workers and other essential service providers.

However, due to the disruptive effects of the pandemic, most counties do not have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitary products which are needed to protect people from exposure. Zimbabwe like most nations has not been spared and is in urgent need of PPE, sanitary products and other medical supplies.

For this reason, the Government has made a clarion call through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development for universities and colleges to spearhead research and innovation aimed at assisting the nation in the fight against COVID-19. Midlands State University has heeded this call and it is all hands on deck as the University is now manufacturing hand sanitiser and face masks.

The hand sanitiser, which was officially launched on Friday the 3rd of April 2020 by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Midlands Province, Honourable Senator Larry Mavima at the University’s Incubation Hub is part of preventative measures to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking during the launch of the hand sanitiser, the Minister of State commended Midlands State University for investing its resources and responding timeously to the need for sanitary products.

“Allow me to commend MSU for investing its intellectual and scientific resources to produce this hand sanitizer in a cost-effective manner … Government is looking to universities to dedicate their intellectual infrastructure, scientific knowledge and facilities to fight not only COVID-19 but other challenges facing our nation”, said Honourable Mavima.

In his address, Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa said the alcohol-based hand sanitiser being manufactured by the University is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

“The World Health Organisation recommends that a hand sanitiser that can kill the coronavirus must have an alcohol concentration of 60% and above. I am happy to report that this sanitiser we are launching today has 70% alcohol concentration and is also manufactured from resources that have been mobilised locally”, said Prof. Muzvidziwa.

The production of the hand sanitiser is being led by internationally renowned chemist and member of the Midlands State University COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Gift Mehlana, whose team is working closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs, Professor Doreen Z. Moyo. Production output is currently set at 5 000 litres per day, but this is expected to increase as the process becomes fully automated. The hand sanitiser is being packaged in 100ml, 200 ml, 1 litre and 5-litre bottles to cater for individual, household and institutional consumers.

On the other hand, to help alleviate the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), Midlands State University is also producing face masks, after consultations with members of the medical fraternity. The University is currently producing 3000 face masks per day, but again the number is expected to increase as new measures are being put in place.

Going forward the University is set to produce medical scrubs, nurse aid uniforms and surgical gowns, with the procurement of the raw materials already underway.