LISTEN: Robin Whittal on designing ventilators from his Durban garage

LISTEN: Robin Whittal on designing ventilators from his Durban garage in the fight against Covid-19

The South African Ventilator Emergency Project, or SAVE-P, has done an amazing job producing medical ventilators which have saved countless lives as Mzansi continues it’s battle against COVID-19.

Save P ventilators

During the world’s fight against COVID-19, one of the biggest challenges has been ensuring that enough ventilators are available to keep as many people who have been hospitalised alive.

However, many countries, including South Africa, saw a massive shortage. Robin Whittal, of the The South African Ventilator Emergency Project, or SAVE-P, has helped ensure that hospitals are equipped with enough ventilators and, by doing so, has helped save countless lives around the country.

The organisation was formed early last year with the goal of producing as many medical ventilators as possible to assist with the increase in demand.

Today, SAVE-P consists of around 90 volunteers, ranging from engineers to medical professionals.

READ: SA now has less than 50 000 active cases of Covid-19

According to SAVE-P founder Justin Corbett, South Africa had a massive supply issue. At the beginning of the pandemic, the country had a total of 3,800 ventilators available to cover a population of over 58-million. By comparison, the UK had 11,000 ventilators on hand to cover a population of roughly 66-million.

As countries around the world held onto their stock, South Africa had to find a quick solution and crossed paths with Robin Whittall - a man who builds these ventilators in his Durban garage.

READ: First batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines is in South Africa

Vic Naidoo chats to Robin, who admits that being a medical engineer with 45 years of experience in the medical industry, he has had many ventilators in storage in his garage. “I took the ventilators I had at home apart and put them together to see how I can simplify the piece of equipment for use against COVID-19.”

He adds that “we have produced 2,000 ventilators for government hospitals in our factory in Pretoria.”

Listen to the full podcast here:

Image courtesy: SAVE P

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