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UB to develop ventilators for Covid-19

PROTOTYPE: The portable ventilator (photo: UB)

As part of its contribution towards the fight against the Covid-19 virus, University of Botswana has announced it is developing a portable ventilator.

UB announced this week its intention to develop the ventilator, a very critical device used on patients infected by the deadly contagious virus.

The institute of higher learning says the Faculty of Engineering and Technology is prototyping a ventilator hood, a low technology medical device that enables the increase of air pressure into the hood or helmet to help keep patient’s airways and lungs open to improve oxygen levels.

The development of the ventilators is part of other innovative ideas that the University is undertaking in response to the Coronavirus which has infected 20 people locally resulting in one fatality thus far.

In addition to the ventilators, the school through the same faculty, is developing face shields and masks as part of the response to the pandemic.

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Meanwhile, UB says through the Department of Biology Sciences is working with Botswana Harvard Partnership and Botswana National Health Laboratory (BNHL) to increase Covid-19 testing capacity to 2500 per day.

Currently the lab has a capacity to test 500 specimens per day.

Further to these innovative ideas that have been announced, UB scientists are also undertaking research which includes exploring extraction of medicines from indigenous plants used historically as inhalants to open chest airways.

The research by the Faculty of Health Sciences is on medicinal plants such as aromatic plants that have historically been rubbed on the chest to aid breathing. 

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