The government has approved prototypes of Kenyan-made ventilators, paving the way for mass production of the life-saving medical equipment.
The ventilators developed by Kenya Association of Manufacturers’ (KAM) automotive sector were presented to Trade and Industrialization CS Betty Maina on Tuesday after they received approval from Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).
CS Maina said the invention of the respirators is a major boost to Kenya’s fight against the Covid-19 disease that has so far infected 296 people and killed 14 others.
“KAM’s automotive sector is tapping into homegrown talent and expertise to develop ventilators that can be produced immediately for use in hospitals. We can see the amount of innovation that is possible in our country.”
“A challenge was given to the manufacturers and we have seen a lot coming into the market. 75% of the materials used in the production are locally sourced,” said Ms. Maina.
On her part, KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga said the innovation underscores the local industry’s capacity to manufacture products for local use and export.
“This ventilator named PUMUAISHI 2.0 shall be patented and supplied locally, but will also be produced for the export markets. KEBS has made standards for critical medical items free on its website and expediting approval of products,’’ noted Wakiaga.
“Homegrown solutions are key to sustaining the fight against coronavirus whilst cushioning the economy from shocks arising out of the virus. In the event of a power blackout, this ventilator is equipped with a four-hour battery enabling it to continue service to patients.”
The ventilator was developed by a team of local experts including programmers, biomedical engineers, doctors, and automotive engineers.
Members of the team hailed from different companies among them Mutsimoto Motor Company, Mobius Motors, Kenyatta National Hospital, and Aga Khan University, among others.