INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TAKING SHAPE AMIDST COVID -19.
“As Higher Education donates K100,000 award to UNZA”
Dr. Mushimba hands over a K100,000 cheque to UNZA Vice Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba
Higher Education Minister Dr. Brian Mushimba handed over K100,000 to the University of Zambia, being monetary support from the National Technology and Business Centre (NTBC) a statutory institution under the Ministry.
Dr. Mushimba said such development of a medical ventilator, now in its prototype, are part of the Government’s interventions to the solutions amidst COVID 19.
“As a ministry that promote sciences, technology and innovation, we are glad that NTBC has come on board and are taking their mandate seriously, we further ask them to do more”. He said.
Dr. Mushimba said despite the COVID situation the Government is putting up measures that all must support. Consequently, the development of such a medical ventilator that is much needed, should not be a one off but continue even for other future health use.
Dr. Mushimba noted that in his address to the nation, His Excellence President Edgar C. Lungu made an emphasis to stay alive and adhere to provided health guidelines during the fight against COVID -19.
The scope of the project is a notch design that encompasses solar and other electrical applications. Dr. Mushimba observed that the universities are meant to generate solutions through science and research especially in this kind of atmosphere, rather than being subjected to political platforms, he called upon scientists and researchers to also embark on, among many interventions, food security and energy research ideas in this knowledge based economy.
Dr. Mushimba commended UNZA and NTBC leadership for such a step they have taken responding to a noble cause and hoped for more of such technology in providing support to the fight of COVID-19.
Dr. Mushimba was speaking today (26-May-2020) at UNZA, in Lusaka. And Higher Education Permanent Secretary Kayula Siame said it marked a memorable day as Institutions were collaborating in showing that they are able to provide solutions amidst the COVID – 19 and this can be seen as a reality.
NTBC Executive Director Dr. Chitundu Kasase said it was exciting that currently in Zambia through scientific projects. Home grown solutions are being supported during the COVID fight hence he ( Dr Kasase) saw it important for NTBC to award UNZA K100, 000 towards the development of the feasible and physical medical ventilator.
Dr. Kasase commended UNZA and the team of technical experts ensuring the success of the project, he believed NTBC will take in subsequent projects.
Engineer Amos Banda (UNZA) a project member of a team of engineers developing the medical ventilator, designed a respiratory system control device. Engineer Banda said the ventilator will help victims of COVID – 19 to control the respiratory system but shall also be extended to other future health usage.
Engineer Banda said the medical ventilator is a lithium battery and solar operated device, charged on both DC and solar. It weighs about 10 Kilograms, being able to be administered to both infants and adults alongside a standalone oxygen tank.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Luke Mumba said University of Zambia is trying to develop the medical ventilator in its quickest possible time.
He believed these interventions will not be a one off but will stand the test of time.
Professor Mumba commended the government for the grant of k100,000 and for NTBC positively respond and considering such an award to UNZA.
He was confident that the grant will go a long way on the embarked project and challenged engineers behind the device to expedite the process and show what people are expecting.
Prof Mumba said another team of experts at Technical Development and Advisory Unit (TDAU) are developing a special wheel chair and sanitizer.
Prof Luke Mumba called upon industry for financial support towards UNZA research projects. He further, called for collective efforts to fight the COVID -19 pandemic. He believed the university is ready with human capital to pursue scientific and research projects so as to drive the development agenda of the country.