Afghan schoolgirls, EllahamMansori, Florence Poya, Nahida, and Somaya Farooqi, members of the Afghan Dreamers, are building a mechanized version of the hand-operated ventilator to help combat coronavirus pandemic in their country. Photo credit: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org
6 Afghan schoolgirls develop COVID-19 ventilator
Six high school girls who are members of a Robotic Team could turn out to be unlikely heroes in Afghanistan and help save their country from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Afghan Robotics Team has built a lightweight ventilator at a fraction of the normal cost, according to a report.
The team members from Herat created the prototype after the governor of the Afghan province sent out a public plea for ventilators and the Afghan girls’ robotics team joined the responded positively by designing an inexpensive ventilator out of automobile parts.
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WATCH THE VIDEO OF AFGHAN DREAMERS ROBOTIC TEAM DESIGNING A VENTILATOR
In response to this desperate need, the Afghan Dreamers Robotics Team developed a ventilator prototype that costs under $300 to make from parts that can be easily sourced in the country.
The Robotic team, which is made up of captain Somaya Faruqi, Dyana Wahbzadeh, Folernace Poya, Ellaham Mansori, Nahida Khajazadeh, and Nahid Rahimi, decided to create a prototype that could mechanically squeeze an Ambu bag, a plastic pouch with a mask that’s normally used by hand to help patients breathe. Whatever they designed would need to be able to squeeze the bag rhythmically, be adjustable for pressure and speed, and be able to run for long periods of time.
With the country often experiencing power shortages, they also aim to make it able to operate on back-up battery or solar power if necessary.
The tech entrepreneur and the founder of the Afghan Dreamers program, Roya Mahboob, who described the girls as real national heroes said that the only thing they all wanted to do was to help their people and our community. Roya Mahboob said he worked with the girls by coordinating their work.
Founded to encourage support for girls’ education in Afghan where 85% of the 3.5 million children who are out of school are girls, the Afghan Dreamers made headlines around the world in 2017 attending and winning a silver medal at the First Global Robotics Competition in Washington, U.S.
While that group of girls has now graduated, there are currently 50 Dreamers in the highly selective program, all between the ages of 14 and 17.
Coronavirus infection cases currently stood above 36,700 in Afghan with over 1280 deaths. Herat is the second worst-hit city in the country behind the capital, Kabul with cases rising above 5,200.