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COVID-19: Rwanda To Test Locally Made Ventilator

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 21 April, 2020 14:22:41PM
COVID-19: Rwanda To Test Locally Made Ventilator

Rwanda is testing a locally made ventilator to use in the treatment of New Coronavirus patients which was developed by a team of engineers at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) in what could be a major breakthrough in making of the much needed device in the treatment of COVID-19.

 Though the ventilator, which helps COVID-19 patients in critical condition to breathe well when their lungs are struggling, is yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), experts have hailed the innovation by the team at the Kigali Campus of the polytechnic.

 The ventilator which has been hailed by Prof. Stephen Rulisa, a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, at the University of Rwanda (UR) School of Medicine and Pharmacy, as timely innovation in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“With response to #Covid-19, Rwandan biomedical engineers from IPRC Kigali are tirelessly making made in Rwanda Ventilator. Sooner the final product will be released. Thanks to the dedicated team and Dr.  Rulisa and Prof. Polain for advice and encouragement,” IPRC Kigali said on Twitter. 

Prof. Rulisa, who is the Head of Research Department at the University Teaching Hospital says the respirator is working as good as imported ones. 

“I am really impressed by Rwandan engineers of IPRC Kigali, making Ventilators! As good as imported ones. Keep it up,” Prof. Rulisa said commending everyone involved in the process. 

Eng. Diogène Mulindahabi, the Principal of IPRC Kigali said there a number of health professionals who are involved in the process, pointing out that IPRC Kigali is working to finalise the first “Made in Rwanda” ventilator.

 With the shortage of ventilators worldwide, Rwandan engineers are hoping to be manufacturing one respirator every 8 days. The country currently has slightly over 40 ventilators though only one patient out of 147 cases only one patient has been placed on oxygen therapy support.

 The Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana reported that they have seen the ventilator and asked medical teams to test before a decision to manufacture more is considered. 

However the Director General of the Food and Drug Authority Dr. Charles Karangwa reported that they are yet to approved the locally made device.

 “We have not received an application so far asking as to carry out tests on the device. We have not seen it yet. We will wait for the manufacturers to approach us before we make any decision,” Dr Karangwa reported.

 FDA has last week approved different companies to manufacture personal protective equipment, particularly protective masks following a directive by the Ministry of Health for all people to wear protective masks especially in public places and at home. 

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