We wrote about Kufema Zimbabwe in the early days of the lockdown. The initiative which set out with a mandate to build and distribute ventilators and “associated components” to help Zimbos during the COVID-19 crisis.
The latest update on the Kufema Zim blog came on the 31st of March (Yuhp I know that’s a while ago – better late than never!) was a video of their Senior Engineer demoing an early prototype of the ventilator they are working on;
Apart from this prototype, Kufema did share updates via their GoFund Me page which has an updated target of £50 000.
On the 1st of April Kufema Zim posted an update informing those who had and those who would contribute to their GoFund Me that they would diversify their efforts beyond just ventilators;
Please know that while we began this fundraiser directed at open source ventilators the project has grown so fast and far reaching that we will direct whatever is needed into all and any equipment required by the medical fraternity to save life – by building open source ventilators and the myriad of small and often overlooked apparatus and material that makes the bigger machinery work.
This was followed up by an update on the 4th of April with Kufema Zim explaining that they are working on two models specifically, which suggests if one fails they want to be able to fall back to the other design;
Two separate teams are working furiously on two different models one being the innovative windscreen- wiper motor model and the reason for throwing our combined efforts and energy into two is that parts and medical components are becoming scarce worldwide as the crisis intensifies. While our key focus is building and supplying breathing equipment we are co-ordinating countrywide with other local and international emergency response groups covering every conceivable aspect of this pandemic.
Hospital-grade ventilators can cost as much $25 000 – $50 000 and even with the money, making them is quite difficult as well. One can understand why Kufema would want to spread their efforts to other things in order to provide a positive impact during this crisis. My only suggestion for Kufema Zim would be that they be as transparent as possible with those who have donated and share spreadsheets informing donors how their funds have been used thus far.