The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development has assured Zimbabweans that the Harare Institute of Technology ventilator project will deliver results soon.
Zimbabweans had anticipated that ventilators would be working in hospitals by now as Covid-19 cases are beginning to soar, however, it has emerged that the process has strict regulatory stages that need to be followed.
The expectation was raised in June, when HIT Vice Chancellor Engineer Quinton Kanhukamwe told Parliament that their ventilators had passed requisite tests and that they met international standards.
“The university made a prototype and tested it, they even tested the ventilators on animals. Now HIT are working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care putting finishing touches to ensure the ventilators are safe for the intended purpose.
Prof Tagwira called on private players to chip in and assist in the impending production of ventilators.
“Some of the components are expensive because they are imported and they may affect the scale of production we are anticipating. Some of these components include circuit boards, which we have capacity to make, but we do not have the requisite machinery yet, we will work to ensure that the machinery is bought to allow for cheaper production in the long run,” Prof Tagwira said.
“We will deliver the ventilators, this is a subject matter we are seized with,” he said.
A ventilator is a machine that helps people breathe.
With the rise of Covid-19 cases, it has become relevant as one of the disease’s major symptom is difficulty in breathing.
Acting in accordance to Education 5.0, a principle in which universities answer to their society’s needs, HIT began a project to manufacture ventilators.
HIT said given all the necessary components, they had the capacity to make 40 ventilators a day.