TOP
Saturday,June 06,2020 09:15 AM
  • Home
  • National
  • Uganda leads pack in developing anti-virus tech

Uganda leads pack in developing anti-virus tech

By John Tugume

Added 10th April 2020 05:58 AM

Today, a prototype of a low-cost ventilator will be unveiled to the public.

Uganda leads pack in developing anti-virus tech

An illustration of the ventilator developed my Makerere and Kiira Motors

Today, a prototype of a low-cost ventilator will be unveiled to the public.

 
Uganda is making progress in the development of technology that could be used in the fight against COVID-19.
 
Today, a prototype of a low-cost ventilator will be unveiled to the public.
 
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, revealed recently that the institution had made a break-through in developing rapid testing kits for COVID-19.
 
In a tweet, Nawangwe said: "I thank Dr. Misaki Wayengera and his team at the Makerere University Department of Pathology for the initiative to develop a rapid testing kit for Coronavirus."
 
He added: "This is commendable given the devastation caused by COVID19."
 
Makerere also announced that they had made progress in designing a low cost ventilator to support management of severe respiratory complications of Covid-19. 
 
The ventilator project is being undertaken by Makerere University Public of Health in partnership with Kiira Motors Corporation under the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation.
 
According to Allan Muhumuza, the business development manager at Kiira Motors, they are positioning Uganda as a science solutions provider for Africa.
 
"We are cognizant of the increased lack of ventilators globally. For low income countries, the situation is worse given the high cost of these critical equipment," Muhumuza told New Vision on Thursday.
 
He said they were still in the process of the prototype using localized equipment.
 
"We are working round the clock to ensure that the prototype ventilator is ready before the end of this week," Muhumuza said.
 
Muhumuza said Uganda has about 55 functional ventilators yet the country's population is slightly above 40 million people.
 
"Our aim is to have 1.3 ventilators per a million people. As Kiira Motors, we have gone miles in electric vehicle development and the way our ventilator will operate is the same as the electric vehicles," he said.
 
On the international market, a standard ventilator goes for as much as $25000 (about sh95m).
 
Kiira Motors is currently in the process of testing its solar-powered buses.
 
While addressing the nation on the state of COVID-19 in the country on Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni said a professor from Makerere had helped in the production of Personal Protective Equipment (surgeons' clothing, helmets, gloves, face-masks, respirators).
 
The President also said he was in talks with Indian investors on the possibility on manufacturing hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug currently being used in the US to treat COVID-19.
 
The World Health Organisation is, however, yet to make an official pronouncement on the drug.
 
 

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author