Universities are supposed to be innovation hubs and Kenyatta University seems to live up to this billing.

A group of students from the University has developed a ventilator prototype which if approved by relevant government authorities could come in handy in helping the novel Coronavirus patients not only in Kenya but elsewhere.

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The students demonstrated the working of the prototype respirator on Saturday, April 11 before Industrialisation CS Betty Maina.

The group of 16 students who worked under the guidance of their teachers said they could manufacture 50 ventilators in a week and each piece would go for KSh 500,000.

Currently, ventilators cost between KSh 2.5 million and KSh 5 million.


The team is optimistic that the prototype will be approved soonest possible so they can kick off mass production.

According to Benard Karanja, a fifth-year Pharmacy student who was part of the team, the idea to build the respirators was conceived after a shortage of ventilators hit headlines around the world.

Henceforth, the students from the faculties of Engineering and Medicine developed a work plan and embarked on the venture to develop the prototype within a week putting in 18 hours a day.

“We have been working with a team of 16 students from the school of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Pharmacy, Medicine, and Nursing to make these ventilators,” said Karanja.

Netizens hailed the students and called on the government to support the students so that the country can start manufacturing the important equipment.

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Ventilators come in handy to patients who suffer respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilation.

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