The Aurum Group

Shesha-Geza Handwash Innovation



Hand washing remains one of the most effective infection control methods and since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, making soap and water or sanitiser readily available, has become life-saving.

Aurum Innova- specialists in innovative health care- have come up with a mobile, self-contained hand washing solution with the capacity for thousands of people to clean their hands thus preventing the spread of infection.

A subsidiary of The Aurum Institute, Aurum Innova has already installed 15 Shesha-Geza hand washing stations in the City of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng, with 15 more due to be installed in the North West. These are at health facilities where Aurum supports the government with TB and HIV treatment programmes funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Bandile Mathandela, Chief Operations Officer at Aurum Innova, said they partnered with Vue Architects, who conceptualised the station. Through the partnership, the Shesha-Geza design was refined and its capacity increased ten-fold to allow for 4000 washes.

The station has three tanks built into it, which can hold between 300 and 500 litres. The tanks are filled with a solution of soap and water or an approved chlorine-based sanitising liquid.

“The Shesha-Geza is designed so that anyone using it does not have to touch anything, which of course is also to promote infection control. You use your foot to pump a peddle which dispenses soap and water or the sanitising mixture,” said Mathandela.

The two basins on either side of the station are separated by a wall of cylinders.

“On top of being a cool design feature, these are functional. They hold the wastewater. So, together with the tanks for clean water, the Shesha-Geza is completely self-contained. We only need to refill it after thousands of washes,” added Mathandela.

This makes the Shesha-Geza ideal for placement where there is high foot traffic such as at healthcare facilities. This is also where such an innovative solution is most needed.

“We are faced with a new norm of having to wash or sanitise our hands more frequently than in the past, so we need to make it easier and accessible for people. This mobile station does just that. Understanding challenges to access to clean water, and soap or sanitiser for some in our country, this solution goes a long way ensuring infection control in high volume areas,” said Mathandela.

As a recent visit to Goba Clinic in Katlehong, CDC South Africa Acting Country Director Dr Romel Lacson applauded Aurum for this innovation. He thanked the organisation for its continuous efforts in ensuring that the basics of the PEPFAR program are implemented.

This article was originally published in on 8 June 2020 


UKZN partners with Aurum Institute to boost COVID-19 testing in impoverished areas in KZN


The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s College of Health Sciences (UKZN CHS), in partnership with the Aurum Institute ( through its subsidiary GHI) as well as corporate sponsors – Nedbank, the Spar Group and Chroma Capital – have handed over 10 mobile testing clinics this morning to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health at KZN’s Disaster Management Centre in Durban. The clinics are fully equipped with the necessary material and trained staff to test an average of 120 to 150 people a day on a six-hour day.

Said College Dean of Research in UKZN’s CHS, Professor Anil Chuturgoon: “The aim of this project is to reach out to extremely poor communities in the KZN region in the provision of COVID-19 testing. All of the testing is completely free of charge to the community. In partnership with the expert, Aurum Institute, we will examine samples that are extracted through swabs taken on-site. These will be examined in our state-of-the-art laboratories at UKZN through the conduction of Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

“Through PCR, we will be able to amplify the small samples that were extracted from the swabs in order to study it in detail. UKZN will also provide an interpretation of the results, which we will share with the COVID-19 National Command Centre.”

Professor Busisiwe Ncama, deputy vice-chancellor and head of UKZN’s CHS, commented: “This partnership project is in line with UKZN CHS mission for social justice in health – we strive for inclusion and reaching the poor and marginalised communities. We are grateful to all our partners for making this a reality and to the UKZN team that is spearheading this initiative, under the leadership of Prof Anil Churturgoon.”

The world-class team will provide screening and testing for the virus and are endorsed by the Department of Health. The UKZN team, headed by Chuturgoon, will also conduct novel research into the virus. Professor Veron Ramsuran, a high-impact researcher at UKZN and KRISP, said: “We are working with the Aurum institute, GHI and UKZN to offer testing to the community at a reduced rate. A group of UKZN scientists saw a niche area that could assist with the COVID-19 problem. Using our specialised skill set, we aim to contribute in a responsible manner. We are changing the way academia and diagnostics function by working hand in hand to provide support during the COVID-19 epidemic.”

The Global Health Innovations (GHI) organisation is a team of scientific experts that have come together with specific expertise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through high quality services in healthcare, including clinical, laboratory, surveillance and epidemiological prevalence studies through a cost-effective manner. The Aurum Institute has a reputable track record as being the best in mobile screening for infectious diseases. It suffered the recent loss of its Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Gita Ramjee, to COVID-19. This has motivated the team to work harder at fighting this virus.


1. Professor Anil Chuturgoon (UKZN) – 0837782420
2. Professor Busi Ncama (UKZN) – 0820449667
3. Dr Veron Ramsuran (UKZN) – 0826522160
4. Mahen Moodley (CEO of Chroma Capital) – 0825512766


This article was originally published in on 11 May 2020.