Over the past few weeks, people all over the world have been terrified due to the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases. The virus has also created havoc in Pakistan.
To combat the deadly virus, a group of Pakistani volunteers, calling themselves Pakistan against COVID-19-Volunteers (PAC-V), have announced their plans to use 3D printing for producing ventilators, respiratory valves, and different essential equipment at a large scale.
The volunteers included doctors, engineers, diaspora, biomedical professionals, academics, resource mobilizers, and other smaller groups.
A medical breakthrough for Pakistan
The PAC-volunteers are confident that the first 3D ventilator prototype would be ready for testing in the next two weeks.
The process of 3D printing creates a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design model (CAF). This process is done through additive manufacturing.
The initiative is being led by a PhD degree holder, Dr Bilal Siddiqui. He started this project with his students. He eventually reached out to academia and industry for support. The emphasis was to successfully develop cost-effective solutions to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
PAC-volunteers also announced that they need support from the government of Pakistan for scaling up the initiative. This will have a positive influence on improving the country’s health infrastructure.
COVID-19 disrupts Pakistan’s healthcare system
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented level of stress on Pakistan’s healthcare system. A dearth of medical equipment to fulfill the health requirements of patients in Pakistan is certainly a massive challenge. Health experts in Pakistan have also admitted that the country lacks affordable medical equipment. It is essential to make medical equipment that can be optimized for patients.
The volunteers have also been in direct contact with Hospitals, provincial governments, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other key stakeholders throughout Pakistan.
Fouad Bajwa, the spokesperson of PAC-volunteers, stated that no investor or pharmaceutical company is involved in this initiative. PAC-volunteers group is working voluntarily to assist the government of Pakistan in fighting this contagious disease.
The equipment will be deployed throughout the country when the group is able to develop, test and approve the solutions for medical use. Arrangements at different levels have been underway for making the necessary funding available to cater to the group requirements for manufacturing the medical equipment at a mass level. The PAC-volunteers are also appealing for voluntary contributions to make this initiative sustainable.
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