Slovak invention helping patients in Kenya
Bratislava, 16 May 2023: An invention of Slovak origin from Comenius University has been helping people in Kenya, Africa, for over a year and a half. The Q-VENT mini lung ventilator helps respiratory failure patients. A team from Comenius University Bratislava spent the past 5 weeks installing the device locally. On their trip, they were accompanied by a National Geographic expedition.
By: CU External relations office
Q-VENT mini helps patients in Kenya who need oxygen therapy. It can also be used during the transport of patients from more distant areas to district or central hospitals. The emergency ventilator already exists in its third, improved version since its initial introduction in September 2021.
„When installing the machine it is necessary to travel to the field and get to know the actual circumstances and needs of the local community, to whose needs our assistance needs to be tailored," says Samuel Furka from Comenius University. "We do science to make the world a better place. In a remote hospital, five- to six-year old children stood by the road and begged for water, looking at us with hope,“ adds his brother Daniel Furka from CU.
Hospitals in Kenya lack basic necessities like medicines, medical equipment or even clean water, let alone the internet. „No matter how deficient the Slovak health care system is, the situation in the remote regions of Kenya is significantly worse. There is a lack of basic equipment and medical specialists, including doctors. Any innovative device can significantly improve the availability of health care,“ says Patrik Palacka, a physician from CU.
In addition to scientists Samuel and Daniel Furka from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Slovak team consisted of physician Patrik Palacka from the Faculty of Medicine, physician Adam Salama and medical student Tímea Baruníková. In Kenya, local doctors from district hospitals helped them implement the project. Support was also provided by SlovakAid and the Czech Military and Hospital Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem.
The Slovak team travelled thousands of kilometres across the savanna into the Kalacha desert region and the Marsabit mountains. They were accompanied by a National Geographic expedition team, with whom they helped each traverse swamps, deserts and travel along rock roads in their vehicles. In the more remote regions they were escorted by a local NGO, IREMO from Marsabit.