by Christopher Makaza
Self-exiled former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Jonathan Moyo has passionately defended a prototype ventilator developed by the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) saying the institution has a good reputation and capacity to design and manufacture the ventilators needed in the fight against COVID-19.
Professor Moyo was responding to social media inquiries and condemnation of the prototype which was being described as a joke, in conjuction to those from developed countries.
“Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) is a first class University with the Engineering and Technological capacity to design and manufacture ventilators to international standards. No doubt about that,” posted Professor Moyo on his Twitter timeline.
In concurrence with Prof Moyo, one Kudakwashe Rupuyu tweeted: “For once, let`s give credit where it’s due. HIT has been doing some amazing projects and I think if they are supported they can actually create a few more that can actually help us to fight Coronavirus.”
A Clinical trial and project management specialist, Thabisa Sibanda defended the HIT prototype ventilator saying that they can come in any shape and size.
“…ventilators come in all shapes and sizes. I have come across ventilators that look exactly like that one in the past,” wrote Sibanda on his Twitter timeline.
HIT says it has the capacity to produce 40 ventilators per day.This development is an example of what tertiary institutions must do, moulding solution bearers.
Other tertiary institutions country-wide are also playing their part, complementing Government efforts in fighting corona virus.
University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), Midlands State University (MSU), National University of Science and Technology (NUST) are ready to produce medical gowns, hand sanitizers, hand soaps and face masks needed to minimise the spread of the deadly virus.
Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) has already produced more than 12 000 face masks and is working on producing 10 000 sanitizers and 10 000 hand soaps.
BUSE and HIT have the capacity to produce 1 000 litres of sanitizers each per day and 60 000 face masks per month.
On 27 March, President Mnangagwa announced a 21 day lockdown starting today 30 March as a measure to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.