Kathmandu, May 2nd, 2020
On March 24, 2020, the Nepal Government announced a nationwide lockdown to minimize the spread of Coronavirus across the country. The National Innovation Center (NIC) started receiving calls from Bir Hospital, Teaching Hospital, BP Koirala Institute of Health Science, and others soon after the announcement of lockdown. In fact, all of the calls were in need of help to create, develop, and manufacture supplies that can help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus.
Firstly, we looked for the materials in the market that can be used to make gowns for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). We found that a material called Rubberized Taffeta Fabric is good for the gown as it is waterproof. Also, it turned out that it is reusable after putting it several times in an autoclave for disinfection. We made a couple of sample PPE gowns and showed them to different doctors. In fact, the doctors said that those gowns are very good and will be more protective. We also received suggestions and feedback from the doctors regarding the gown which helped us in redesigning and improving it into fully airproof and waterproof gowns. Apart from the production and distribution of these gowns, the following are our contribution towards the hospitals and communities across the nation.
1) Manufacture & Distributions of PPEs to Hospitals:
So far, NIC Nepal has distributed more than 5,200 PPE gowns to more than 225 Hospitals, Primary Health Care Centers, Corona Isolation Centers, and Corona Testing Hospitals of 56 districts of 7 provinces of Nepal.
With the collaboration of the local governments, we are distributing 25 to 30 PPEs to large hospitals and 15 to 20 PPEs to medium-sized hospitals. Similarly, 10 to 15 PPEs will go to Primary Health Centers/Corona Treatment Centers, and around 5 PPEs to small health clinics in the villages.
PPE sets preparation for distribution
1) Distribution of PPEs to Ambulance Drivers, Security Personnel, and Hospital Staff:
With safety being our concern, we distributed 850 PPE gowns, gloves, and surgical masks to ambulance drivers, security personnel working at Nepal India Borders, Emergency Rescue Squad, Hospital Personnel such as nurses, junior doctors, interns, cleaning staff working at the hospitals and security guards.
2) Manufacture and Distribution of Corona Booth:
We learned that hospitals in South Korea were building booths to keep the doctors and Corona patients separate safely while collecting swabs from the patients. We redesigned the booth with the materials that were available and asked engineers in different parts of Nepal to build it for the hospitals where they were treating Corona patients and collected swab for testing. So far 20 such booths have been distributed to hospitals in different parts of Nepal. More booths are being built due to more demand.
1) Manufacture and Distribution of Aerosol Box:
We developed a box made from a transparent acrylic sheet, which is good for protecting the doctors from the sneeze of patients, while they are treating the patients. We named it aerosol box and we found on the Internet that hospitals in other countries are using similar boxes. Also, we have distributed 22 of those boxes to different hospitals.
1) Repair work of broken ventilators of different hospitals:
NIC Nepal received requests from several hospitals for help to repair their broken ventilators and medical equipment. So, we created a team of volunteers of biomedical engineers for repair operations. We found that there were 85 broken ventilators in different hospitals. 40 ventilators have been repaired so far and are in use. The biomedical volunteers are trying to fix others as well despite it being difficult to get spare parts. Also, they have managed to repair 3 broken Kidney Dialysis machines.
The repaired ventilator of hospitals
1) Developing and testing other useful devices to fight against Coronavirus:
There are other medical devices under development and test at the innovation center in order to help minimize the outbreak of Coronavirus. We came across some of these ideas and concepts from individuals who shared them on our social sites.
a. Developing disinfection boxes using UVC (Ultra-violet C) light and Hydrogen Peroxide:
Because of the acute shortage of N95 masks in the market, we have developed UVC chambers to disinfect the used N95 masks for reuse. Currently, the system is undergoing tests at Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu and at the laboratory of the Microbiology Department of Tribhuvan University.
Ultraviolet C Disinfectant Box
b. Developing masks using HEPA filter and N99 filter as alternative masks:
There is a huge shortage of N95 masks in the market. Therefore, alternative masks using the fabrics of the HEPA filter and N99 filter have been made. Researchers are testing them at the laboratory of Tilganga Eye Hospital in Kathmandu. Furthermore, it has been found that HEPA filters can filter the tiny particles like N95 masks and N99 filters perform better.
Masks made from HEPA Filter
c. Developing Emergency Ventilator (E-Vent):
Based upon the design of E-Vent made by researchers at MIT and design given by engineers of TU Delft, Netherlands, we also developed a prototype of the emergency ventilator at the innovation center. The prototypes are under testing now.
Emergency Ventilator made at the center
d. Developing robots to deliver food:
Because of demand from isolation centers at Corona hospitals, simple yet autonomous robots for delivering food and medicine have been developed and delivered to Nepal Army Hospital in Chauni, Kathmandu. More robots are in the making as per requests from BPKIHS Hospital (Dharan), Nepal Armed Police Hospital (Balambu), and Corona patient treatment centers.
Robot to deliver food and medicine at Corona treatment center
e. Developing Infrared Thermo gun:
With the request and collaboration with the local government, we are developing thermo-guns to measure the temperature of patients.
Foundations, organizations, and individuals who have supported and collaborated with us in this mitigation campaign are listed below:
a. American Nepal Medical Foundation, USA
b. Nepal Biomedical Association
c. Protech Nepal
d. Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu
e. Bir Hospital, Kathmandu
f. Nepal Army
g. Panchakanya Group
h. Kavach Garment
I. Raymonds Tailoring
j. Call A Tailoring
k. Kishor Rimal, Rabindra Maharjan, Radheshyam Malla, DabBahadur Pun for providing vehicles for transporting materials and people.
l. There are around 22 researchers working at the innovation center for R&D and distribution⋅
2. Request for Collaboration and Support:
Individuals and organizations are welcome to collaborate for this campaign. You can contact Mahabir Pun, Chairman of National Innovation Center at [email protected] or Phone/WhatsApp/Viber at +977-9841592361.
National Innovation Center is PPEs, Corona Booth, Aerosol Box, and other essentials free of cost to the health centers. If you would like to donate for this campaign, please have a look at the following options and choose one to donate.
- Rastriya Awiskar Kendra
Himalayan Bank Limited, Thamel Branch
Account No. –01906322060017
- Global IME Bank
Rastriya Awiskar Kendra, NayaBaneshwor Branch
Account No. – I101010000686
Please follow this link to download the PDF for this report. Brief Report of the Covid 19 Campaign Run by National Innovation Center
Thank You. Together, we can fight this pandemic.