As South Africa eases into Level 3 of the lockdown, we are excited to reveal that our iLeadLABs across the country will soon be working around-the-clock to produce intubation boxes. This innovation is part of Phase 2 of our comprehensive three-phase, not-for-profit PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) plan to bolster SA’s fight against COVID-19 by keeping our public healthcare warriors safe.
An intubation box is a protection device that sits over the head and shoulders of a patient as they are intubated by healthcare professionals. The intubation box acts as a protective shield, reducing the medical professional’s risk of exposure to the virus during aerosolised procedures.
Currently, health professionals are testing prototypes of the intubation box. As soon as they give us the greenlight, production will get underway at all our iLeadLABs in Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town. Each intubation box is made from PETG, a polyester substance that is more flexible than Perspex and is easier to cut, which means we can make large amounts of them easily. The intubation box that the REGENT Business School’s labs are producing have been through multiple iterations of open source designs available. Through consultation with medical experts, the designs of the RBS intubation boxes have been significantly enhanced for maximum effectiveness in healthcare settings. “We are aiming to donate intubation boxes to as many state-owned healthcare facilities as our ileadLABs are able to produce ,” says Dr Ahmed Shaikh, Managing Director of REGENT BUSINESS SCHOOL .“This will be in addition to the 6 000 protective face shields that have been donated already and 5 000 face masks that we are working to hand over before month-end.”
At the Economic Cluster council briefing on Friday (29 May 20), the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, applauded efforts by SA organisations to locally produce PPE to help combat the infection rate and #FlattenTheCurve. The RBS community has been actively involved in providing PPE at no cost to public hospitals since early April. During Phase 1, we donated 3D printed face shields and splash protection masks to state-owned hospitals and COVID-19 relief organisations in South Africa. We have extended a helping hand to our neighbours too, sending PPE consignments to Namibia and Swaziland.
“As we are firm believers in continental collaboration, our team is working closely with our Honoris United Universities partners in North Africa to ramp up our PPE innovation contributions,” explains Dr Shaikh. “Our colleagues at Université Centrale in Tunisia have produced a non-invasive ventilator and we are looking forward to partnering with them to make a similar product for use in South Africa.”
The entire RBS team is committed to a “flatten, fight, future” strategy so while experts have warned that South Africa’s COVID-19 infections are likely to peak from July until September and perhaps later, our three-phase PPE action plan extends to September and beyond, if needed.
This agile approach expands beyond our PPE initiative. We are in this for the long haul, and all of us in the RBS community are resolute about making significant, positive contributions to our student community, to the country we live in, and to the continent we call home.