In Angers, students mobilized for caregivers

The University of Angers may be closed, but just over 200 students are active in supporting caregivers on the coronavirus front. Since Friday, they can register on a "citizen and solidarity platform" to come and look after the caregivers' children at their home.

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To date, around fifty families have benefited. Around 150 medical students are mobilized to support the Angers University Hospital as part of its white plan. Some to support the Samu regulatory centers in Angers and Laval (Mayenne), overwhelmed by the influx of calls to 15. And others (in 3e year) to welcome people going to the 28 Covid-19 consultation centers in the department.

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Finally, a dozen students and teachers from the Faculty of Pharmacy have embarked on the manufacture of hydroalcoholic solution (SHA), according to the recipe recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The bottles are then distributed to general practitioners in Angers and its metropolitan area who request them (1).

" Distribution is provided by university, administrative or teaching staff, specifies Isabelle Richard, vice-president of the University of Angers, adding that " all these activities are carried out with the greatest attention to safety and hygiene gestures "

Rigorous preparation

After starting Monday, March 16 in the university’s pharmaceutical laboratory, SHA production had already reached 160 liters by mid-week. " We could go up to 200 a day, calculates Arthur Piraux, doctoral student at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Angers, who works part-time in a pharmacy in the city center. The needs are real. If we can, we will extend the distributions to pharmacists and nurses who also lack them… ”. According to their estimates, a general practitioner can "keep up" with one liter of SHA per week.

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If its development requires few raw materials (ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, filtered water and glycerol), its dosage as its dilution order impose great rigor. " I had never prepared SHA before in my practical work, says Léandre Poussin, student in 4e year. We have to follow a very precise protocol, especially since we use ethanol which is very volatile "

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Since Monday, the small team has not counted its hours. " It's quite tiring because you have to stay upright and very focused, continues Arthur Piraux. At the end of the day, our legs hurt a little. But we are very tight-knit and that’s our way of doing our part. ”.

In the Pays de la Loire region, where the virus is not yet circulating as intensely as in the East, the young man knows that the hardest part may be yet to come. " In the West, we are still at the very beginning of the epidemic. But in two to three weeks, it will be for us … " To facilitate the link between students and pharmacies throughout France, the national association of pharmacy students and the council of pharmacists have just launched a site to identify needs and volunteers (2).