KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - With the mounting incidences of COVID-19 infections (that reached 213 cases by Sunday), and the shortage in checkup materials, ventilators and protection gear for the doctors, numbers of Sudanese engineers and technicians have engaged in doing what they can to address these gaps.
These dedicated men and women have responded to the call by the Federal Minister of Health Akram Ali Altoam upon Sudanese to extend a helping hand, in view of the fact that the countries producing such facilities have declined to sell them because of domestic need.
Among these efforts came “The Sudanese Initiative To Produce Ventilators”, led by a group of engineers of both sexes. The group says working on developing ventilators. They can produce 20,000 ventilators on voluntary basis “in big laboratories’ in Khartoum, they say.
Initiative Member, Engineer Uwais Khairy, said they have thirty engineers and three supervisors working to develop ventilators in addition to three other necessary medical systems.
He said they are producing these facilities “in different designs.” The ventilators are a simulation of the human hand “in order to tightly control the amount of oxygen pumped,” engineer Khairy said.
“We are striving to make these sets operate under all conditions,” he said.
Initiative Member, Engineer Waleed Siddiq, said the sets can be powered by electricity, batteries and solar energy.
The engineers are in a race against time to prepare their sets to save lives.
Ventilators are important in that the infection with coronavirus is respiratory in the main. The virus enters the body through the nose, the eye, the ear and the mouth because it needs a human cell to develop. This cell can be in the throat or any receptor in the respiratory system. Once the virus penetrates and hangs on either of these receptors it starts to multiply in millions and causes throat inflammation, dry cough and breathing difficulty.
Among those initiatives is also what was done by some youths who started to manufacture doctors and patients protection requirements. The pandemic has already taken its toll on the frontline medical staff. According to press statements by a member of the Sudanese Doctors Central Committee 17 doctors have been infected with the disease while 400 of the healthcare practitioners are in isolation centres. Two Sudanese doctors working in Britain, Dr Amged al-Hawrani and Dr Adil al-Tayar became the first working medics to die of coronavirus in the UK.
Another initiative is the private Aweil Engineering Company which has devised a sterilization system that can sterilize 120 persons per hour. The company’s director and owner Adel Abdul Halim said his set was endorsed by the Ministry of Health, after trial. “The set is a pathway that can be put in quarantines and hospitals, gateways, commuter stations and other crowded areas to sterilize those places and save the citizens,” he said.
He said the set also contains a basin to sterilize the bottom of the shoe.
The set operates spontaneously once somebody enters or quits the pathway where it is put, he said.
Eng. Abdul Halim said his set is one of the best as compared with imported sterilization facilities and it costs just half of the imported set as it is manufactured from substances available in the Sudan.
In the same drive the Army’s Group of Defense Industries has inaugurated some of its new products geared towards assisting in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, all of which were manufactured by Sudanese engineers and with Sudanese expertise.
Brigadier Almu’tasim Abdallah Alhaj, the Group’s Deputy Manager, said they have inaugurated eleven products solely dedicated to the battle against the pandemic;
These include checkup mobile vehicles (buses), emergency cars, automatic sterilization tunnels, ventilators, washable masks made from the Sudanese cotton, automatic multi-purpose machines for hands’ sterilization, early checkup and warning applications via drone planes, medical furniture for hospitals and quarantines and surface and hands sterilization sets.
All the aforesaid big achievements were made in a short time duration and under limited financial capabilities. It is the willpower of the Sudanese young men and women who rolled up sleeves to help their country and its citizens, emanating from an entrenched trait in Sudanese to rush for rescue in times of need.
About these important inventions, Dr. Tariq Okair of the Sudan University for Science and Technology said inventions and innovations always come in times of need and without any prior preparation.
Dr. Okair, who oversees the University’s students’ inventions and business initiatives, told Sudanow these inventions can help save lives, money, time and labor.
“The shortage in ventilators and the possible increasing incidence of coronavirus infections can really be a catastrophe in this critical time in Sudan,” he said.
“We have to hail the Sudanese youths (the youths of the Sudan revolution), the makers of miracles who posses a mentality that creates miracles and that can do the impossible,” he said.
“These inventions and innovations are the daughter of creative minds and have come at this era of the economy of knowledge,” he added.
“The developed nations of the World have learned how to employ the intellect of their youths and develop their thoughts in order to solve problems,” he said
Dr. Okair suggested establishment of a centre in each of the Sudanese universities to sponsor students’ innovative projects from start to finish. He called on the inventors to protect their rights by applying for patents at the Intellectual Property Office.
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