Zimbabwean Vet Enhances Hygiene with Copper

Antimicrobial copper touch surfaces in a Zimbabwean veterinary practice

24 Hour Veterinary Practice in Harare has become Zimbabwe's first facility to add antimicrobial copper touch surfaces to its suite of infection prevention measures.

9th June 2015

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week the practice sees a wide range of animals and strives to maintain a high standard of cleanliness to reduce the risk of cross-infection. To support existing measures, they opted to replace frequently-touched surfaces including table tops, drawer handles, light and electrical switches, chair arms, desk tops and even mice with solid copper equivalents.

Copper is a powerful antimicrobial with rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria and viruses, including MRSA, E.coli and norovirus. It shares this benefit with a range of copper alloys – including brasses and bronzes – forming a family of materials collectively called 'antimicrobial copper'.

Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are used by healthcare facilities around the world to reduce the spread of infections such as norovirus and MRSA, supporting key infection control measures such as good hand hygiene and frequent surface cleaning and disinfection.

Dr Vinay Ramlaul, who runs the practice, explains: 'We're very pleased with the copper touch surfaces. They're easy to clean and present a bright, sterile image to our clients. We feel secure knowing that copper is continuously killing microbes being transmitted to the surfaces by both our clients and patients.'

24 Hour Veterinary Practice joins veterinary facilities in South Africa already using antimicrobial copper surfaces to enhance hygiene.

For more information, visit www.antimicrobialcopper.org.


For further information and high-resolution images, contact:

Bryony Samuel
Communications Officer
Copper Development Association

Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.

Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

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