University bands together to help out health care
Stockholm University was early in meeting the demands of the healthcare sector during the corona outbreak. Demand for protective materials is still high and departments are inventorying their supplies. SU-butiken has, for example, sent boxes of overhead transparencies to Stockholm-area hospitals.
The Faculty of Natural Sciences helped out earlier by manufacturing hand sanitiser. Now other faculties are helping to meet Stockholm hospitals’ needs for materials for protective equipment – plastic that can work as a protective visor against the corona virus.
Overhead transparencies as protective shields
The initiative to collect materials from the departments came from two researchers in the Faculty of Humanities, Sara Van Meerbergen and Charlotte Seiler Brylla. After hearing a news story about making protective visors out of transparencies, they contacted hospitals in Stockholm to see if they had a need. SU-butiken acted as a coordination centre to collect and deliver the materials.
Uno Fors is a professor and dean at Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) where they collected 1,000 transparency sheets for use as visors.
“When the request came in, we looked immediately because we are such a large department. We sent everything we had and of course we were glad to help. At the same time, it’s a little scary that the Swedish healthcare system needs this kind of help.”
The Department of Psychology sent fifteen boxes of transparencies and hopes to be able to contribute with their own competence “Our competence in psychology is something that we also want to offer, both during and after this crisis. And it’s certainly in demand”, says Håkan Fischer, Professor and Dean of the Department of Psychology.
Researchers’ knowledge in demand on many fronts
Many employees at DSV are working full out to support the university’s remote learning. As a department, DSV is maybe more prepared than others with its already existing infrastructure when it comes to IT knowledge and digital platforms. DSV has even received questions from businesses and organisations to help with their decision making process.
“Many of us really want to help, but the questions have been not been specific enough. However, when the government asked us to offer new places in our programme in the future, we answered immediately that we could take an additional 500 students. That’s something we are absolutely prepared for, and IT is an area that needs more people”, says Uno Fors.
Text: Rebecca Röhlander
March 26, 2020
Source: External Relations and Communications Office