Africa

This locally made, 1970s-inspired ventilator is helping South Africa combat Covid-19

By Adeline Chen, CNN

Updated 3:38 AM ET, Wed February 3, 2021
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Concerned that South Africa was facing a shortfall in ventilators, the non-profit initiative SAVE-P began locally producing the lifesaving machines for nationwide use last year. CNN
Head of SAVE-P Justin Corbett (left) tapped the expertise of ventilator technician Robin Whittle (right), who found an old 1970s ventilator in his Durban garage. That model, called the Penlon Nuffield 200, would become the inspiration behind SAVE-P's device. CNN
With international supply chains disrupted due to the pandemic, some automakers in South Africa stepped in to help -- working in conjunction with the group to turn their assembly lines into ventilator production lines. courtesy SAVE-P
Each high flow CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) unit was constructed by hand in Durban, consisting of roughly 500 individual parts. courtesy SAVE-P
The ventilators made by SAVE-P cost just over $1,000 each, a fraction of the price of similar ventilators on the market, according to Corbett. courtesy SAVE-P
The ventilators were designed to operate without electricity, increasing their ability to be used beyond established hospitals. courtesy SAVE-P
To date, SAVE-P has made 2,000 ventilators, and says each one is being used today in hospitals across South Africa. courtesy SAVE-P