L-R - KAM Automotive Sector Chair & Mutsimotor Director Ashit Shah explains how the ventilator works to Industry CS Ms Betty Maina, Industry PS Dr Francis Owino and KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga. Local manufacturers have assembled the PUMUAISHI 2.0, ventilators which will be used by local hospitals to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vehicle manufacturers under the Kenya Association of Manufacturers’ (KAM) banner have developed ventilators to be used by hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.  

The ventilators, approved by Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) were on Tuesday presented to the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina on the same day that the Fund announced that it had raised Sh1.28 billion from corporates.

The CS reiterated the need for developing homegrown solutions that will help in the fight against the COVID-19. 

“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. 

KAM Chief Executive, Ms Phyllis Wakiaga noted that this innovation is a demonstration of the local industry’s capacity to fill supply chain gaps in various sectors.

“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,’’ added Ms Wakiaga.

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She also noted the need for building the local industry’s capacity, saying, ‘’As a nation, we have come to realize the importance of local content and industry. 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 invention brought together local experts from various fields, including programmers, Biomedical engineers, doctors and automotive engineers.

Some of the companies providing these key experts are Mutsimoto Motor Company, Mobius Motors, Kenyatta National Hospital and Aga Khan University among others.

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Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]

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