Within the japanese Afghan metropolis of Herat, 18-year-old highschool pupil Somaya Faruqi adjusts a suction cap as she places the ending touches earlier than unveiling a low-cost, light-weight ventilator created by her and 6 different younger girls.
The all-female Afghan Robotics Crew, which has received worldwide awards for its robots, began work in March on an open-source, low-cost ventilator because the coronavirus pandemic hit the war-torn nation.
It took the staff virtually 4 months to finalise the ventilator, which is partly based mostly on a Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) design, they usually acquired steerage from consultants at Harvard College.
The system is simple to hold, can run on battery energy for 10 hours, and prices roughly $700 to supply, in contrast with the $20,000 worth of a standard ventilator.
“We’re delighted that we have been capable of take our first step within the subject of drugs and to have the ability to serve the individuals on this space as nicely. All members of our staff really feel glad as a result of after months of exhausting work, we have been capable of obtain this outcome,” Faruqi instructed Reuters.
Though the ventilator nonetheless has to bear closing testing from well being authorities earlier than it may be used, officers welcome it in a rustic with solely 800 ventilators to deal with the fast-growing variety of coronavirus instances in a well being system broken by a long time of conflict.
Well being Ministry spokesman Akmal Samsor mentioned as soon as the ventilators have been permitted they’d be rolled out in Afghan hospitals and the design shared with the World Well being Group.
“We recognize the initiative and creativity in Afghanistan’s well being sector…after they’re permitted, we are going to use these ventilators and we’re decided to contract with firms so we are able to additionally export them,” he mentioned.
Afghanistan has recorded round 35,500 COVID-19 instances and 1,181 deaths, although consultants warn the true rely might be far greater as a consequence of low testing charges.
(Reporting by Storay Karimi, Jalil Rezaee and Orooj Hakimi; extra reporting by Hameed Farzad and Sayed Hassib; writing by Charlotte Greenfield, enhancing by Ed Osmond)
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