In the pursuit of living up to its science and technology billing in the face of the novel coronavirus which has shaken Zimbabwe with three confirmed deaths and 11 suspected cases, the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) is working with local hospitals to rescusitate defunct ventilators at the medical referral institutions, state media reported Friday.
According to a report carried in the Chronicle, NUST has engaged United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and Mpilo Central Hospital where it seeks to repair the medical institutions’ damaged ventilators which have been lying idle and defunct for years.
Whilst the university is said to have already ‘succesfully’ fixed one of the ventilators at UBH, the repaired ventilator awaits certification from medical professionals for use. The varsity will then get the greenlight to repair the other seven defunct ventilators after independent verification of the one already repaired.
The country is reportedly in short supply of ventilators which are normally used in the intensive care unit to assist critically ill patients to breathe. Respiratory challenges count amongst some of the symptoms of the catastrophic Covid-19 which Zimbabwe is fighting to scuttle amid the 21-day preventive national lockdown.
“Some of the machines there have missing components that are supposed to be imported but of course with some machines we have managed to get some components locally. We have put together one machine that is ready for checking and certification by medical professionals,” said NUST Chairperson and senior lecturer in the Economic Engineering Department, Dr Busiso Mtunzi.
However, UBH clinical director Dr Narcisius Dzvanga declined to make further comments on the ‘repaired ventilator’, saying it was ‘premature to celebrate’.