Kenyan Students Build Respirator To Fight COVID-19
By Soko Directory Team / September 1, 2020 | 8:05 am
By Nsunjo Erica
Students from Kenyatta University designed a local respirator which is aimed at saving the lives of COVID-19 patients and save money in the battle against the pandemic, approval is still pending.
Pending approval to begin trials is expected to come from Kenya’s Ethics Review Committee, which looks into the safety of any equipment meant to be used on humans, after which they expect to take the ventilator for clinical trials.
The students from Kenyatta University conceived the idea in March following the increased shortage of ventilators in Kenya and the high costs of the few that were available. The developed respirator is called a “Tiba Vent” a ventilator meant to solve the shortage of the equipment needed to treat those most seriously affected by the coronavirus.
A student team that developed the respirator was comprised of those in engineering, medicine, nursing, and computer science and pharmacy departments at Kenyatta University. There are three more universities racing to make respirators.
“Tiba Vent” has successfully undergone quality testing under the watch of institutions set up by the Kenyan government, including the electrical safety standards certificate, calibration certificate, and production certificate.
According to the dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at Kenyatta University, Shadrack Mambo, the university can produce up to 50 respirators a week as soon as Tiba Vent is approved.
Fidel Makatia, a 23-year-old student of electrical and electrical engineering said each Tiba Vent will cost less than 2 million shillings ($20,000), compared to the 4.5 million shillings ($45,000) it takes to import a ventilator.
According to current stats, 144 more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Kenya as of 31st August, raising the country’s COVID-19 to 34,201. The youngest COVID-19 patient is a 7-year old child while the oldest is 84.
The new cases are from a sample size of 4,260 tested in the last 24 hours. According to the MOH, the country’s cumulative tests now stand at 454,406.
From the new confirmed cases, 133 are Kenyans while 11 are foreigners: in terms of gender, 88 are males and 56 females.