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An All-Girl Afghan Robotics Team Has Designed a Low-Cost Ventilator for COVID-19 Patients

. 2 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
An All-Girl Afghan Robotics Team Has Designed a Low-Cost Ventilator for COVID-19 Patients

The six girls of the Afghan Robotics Team have designed a ventilator that costs 60% less than the traditional $20,000 ventilator.

In yet another demonstration of #girlpower, an all-girl robotics team from Herat, Afghanistan has designed a low-cost ventilator that can help critical patients suffering from COVID-19.

Afghanistan has around 35,000 recorded cases so far. The Afghan Robotics Team, which has won several international awards, has been working on designing a low-cost ventilator since the beginning of March. They have been receiving guidance from experts at Harvard University, and their design is based on a design developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

The device they have been working on is highly beneficial for critical COVID-19 patients who have to rely on ventilators, as the coronavirus can cause difficulty in breathing. The device is light, can run for 10 hours, and costs about 60% less than the traditional ventilator, which costs around $20,000.

Somaya Faruqi, one of the members of the 6-member team, told Reuters, “We are delighted that we were able to take our first step in the field of medicine and to be able to serve the people in the area as well. All members of our team feel happy because, after months of hard work, we were able to achieve this result.”

The ventilators have yet to undergo final testing and evaluation. Health Ministry spokesperson, Akmal Samsor, remarked that once these ventilators are approved of and are ready to go, they would be rolled out in Afghan hospitals and their design will be shared with the World Health Organization. Eventually, these ventilators will also be exported.

The pandemic has had devastating effects on everyone, but women have been hit the hardest – it is estimated that in India, about 10 million girls in secondary school could drop out due to the pandemic, and that can cause a rise in early marriage, untimely pregnancies, violence, and poverty. Factors like funding problems, unemployment among parents, and lack of access to schools have contributed to this phenomenon. Young girls are not given equal access to resources and opportunities owing to the patriarchal association of women with unpaid labour, marriage, and motherhood, because of which girls and women are the worst hit during any crisis. But moments like these are important reminders of what girls are capable of, and with the right kind of access and support, girls can achieve excellence.

Make a note of this, everyone: Girls will save the world!

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