FG Investigates Alleged Impact of Hand Sanitisers on Fingerprint


By Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Federal Ministry of Health has commenced investigation into a report alleging that frequent use of hand sanitisers may alter a person’s finger print.

A source at the Ministry of Health told THISDAY that the ministry had received a memo drawing its attention to a report credited to an Indian Dematologist warning that frequent use of hand sanitisers could peel off the skin’s upper layer, thereby blurring the fingerprint, preventing it from being recognised by biometric machine.

The source also confirmed that the Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha had contacted the Ministry of Health on the issue, adding however, that there is nothing to worry about.

He said that it was a routine practice for the SGF to draw the attention of the Ministry of Health to any healthcare issue that raises public concerns.

He further disclosed that the ministry had referred the issue to relevant departments and agencies for investigation.

He added that ministry will also contact the World Health Organisation (WHO) over the issue.

The SGF letter dated March 10, addressed to the Minister of Health and copied both the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said: “ I wish to draw the attention of the minister to a report by an Indian Dematologist, Anshul Warman that warned that frequent use of hand sanitisers could cause abrasion of the skin’s upper layer and may prevent a finger print recognition by the biometric machine”.

According to the Indian medical expert, there were reports of cases from bank and medical college staff in India whose fingerprints could not be recognised by the biometric attendance machine in their offices.