Kenyan Tech to Help Doctors Treat Multiple Covid-19 Cases at Once

Ultra Red Technologies, along with a coalition of other Kenyan-owned 3D printers are producing a ventilator adaptor that will allow multiple treatments of Covid-19 patients and face shields.

The consortium has borrowed from open source prototypes designed by 3DVerkstan, a company in Sweden, to print plastic face shields.

The move is set to fill a gap before established plastic manufacturers can create a mould and begin producing PPEs quickly and at affordable prices.

Perhaps the most important invention by the team is designing a 3D printed prototype for a ventilator adaptor that could allow doctors to treat either two or four patients at one time if necessary.

The team is working with an established medical equipment distributor, Nairobi X-Ray Supplies, to administer testing on sets of artificial lungs.

Other 3D companies working on the effort include Kijenzi based in Kisumu in Western Kenya. Kuunda 3D in Nairobi has also shifted its focus to personal protective equipment.

3-D printing in the medical field has been on the rise with Canadian organizations coming up with 3D printing of prosthetic limbs for amputees.

This is a new technology that is moving away from the traditional technique of casting prosthetics with plaster. It makes digitally scanned and modelled limbs before sending them for production.

The world is facing a shortage in ventilators with a number of healthcare systems overwhelmed meaning that the importation of the equipment is out of the question.

A face shield is an item of personal protective equipment that aims to protect the wearer's entire face from hazards such as chemical splashes, or potentially infectious materials.

Infectious disease experts in the US say face shields are crucial because they provide a second layer of protection and can be disinfected and reused.

Kenyatta Univerity also came up with a prototype ventilator with Samuel Kairu and Paul Kariuki from Thika also being awarded Ksh 200,000 by the Ministry of Trade to come up with a ventilator prototype. 

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