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A ‘sanitizer hui’ forms to make hand sanitizer for Hawaii coronavirus frontliners

  • Courtesy State of Hawaii

    KoHana Hawaiian Agricole is manufacturing hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer for local hospitals and other facilities at no cost.

  • COURTESY STATE OF HAWAII
                                Workers mix FDA-regulated hand sanitizer at the Hawai‘i Agricultural Research Center facility in Kunia, Oahu.

    COURTESY STATE OF HAWAII

    Workers mix FDA-regulated hand sanitizer at the Hawai‘i Agricultural Research Center facility in Kunia, Oahu.

  • COURTESY PHOTO
                                The hand sanitizer made by KoHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum is packaged in bottles donated by Halm’s Enterprises, with labels donated by Honblue.

    COURTESY PHOTO

    The hand sanitizer made by KoHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum is packaged in bottles donated by Halm’s Enterprises, with labels donated by Honblue.

KoHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum has joined the growing ranks of local companies who are making and donating coronavirus-killing, alcohol-based hand sanitizers to healthcare workers, first responders, the elderly, the homeless and workers performing essential services in sectors from food and education to prisons.

In a statement released today by the state’s Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center, KoHana co-founder and owner Jason Brand thanked Gov. David Ige for helping organize “a sanitizer hui” involving the State of Hawaii, local food manufacturers and packers, shippers, research and pharmaceutical laboratories and financiers.

KoHana’s hand sanitizer, made from high-proof ethanol, the main ingredient in FDA-approved sanitizers and a natural byproduct of rum distilling, took a bit more time to roll out, Brand said, because the hui followed U.S. Food and Drug Administration listing requirements for over-the-counter medications.

“What’s different about our process is that (this) is actually an FDA-regulated product; it has an NDC number,” Brand said, referring to the National Drug Code identification number that identifies a product’s labeler, its formulation and commercial package size.

Hundreds of gallons have been manufactured in the rum distillery’s Kunia facilities with assistance from the Hawai‘i Agricultural Research Center, and several 64-oz. jugs were delivered today to The Institute for Human Services, which assists Oahu’s homeless residents.

The hand sanitizer also comes in 16 oz. and personal-size, 60 ml. bottles; the latter have so far been distributed by Gift of Giving Hawai‘i to the Hawai‘i Food Bank, Angel Network Charities, and Jarrett Middle School in Palolo.

Other hui members include Kaumana Pharmaceutics, Halm’s Enterprises, HonBlue, Aloha Green Apothecary, American Savings Bank, Pharmacare and Matson.

“It’s by working together as a community that we will weather this current crisis,” Ige said in the statement.

The hui’s product will be labeled as an antiseptic hand rub for healthcare workers, per FDA recommendations, and as hand sanitizer in bottles for consumer use, Brand said, adding that it is for giveaway only, not for sale.

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