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17 June 2021
Webinar: Stepping outside the Box
UWC's Department of Physics and Astrophysics is hosting a webinar titled "Stepping outside the box".

Host: Professor Delia Marshall (Chairperson, Department of Physics and Astrophysics)
Presenter: Professor Justin Jonas (Rhodes University and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory - SARAO)

Date: Monday, 21 June 2021
Time: 15:30 - 17:00
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Abstract of the Presentation:
The global COVID pandemic has challenged medical systems in all countries because of the unprecedented demand for advanced respiratory support that resulted from the most apparent symptom of the disease: reduced respiratory function. About 20% of all symptomatic cases require some modality of oxygen therapy, with about a quarter of these cases requiring more advanced therapy than a simple oxygen mask. Invasive ventilation is required for the most serious cases, but intensivist clinicians in countries such as the UK and Italy had shown that non-invasive Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy was successful in treating a large fraction of patients who might have been subjected to invasive ventilation.

The National Ventilator Project (NVP) was initiated by the Minister for Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), Ebrahim Patel, to provide locally manufactured CPAP devices to be deployed in South African hospitals. A group of engineers from SARAO were seconded to the NVP to manage all aspects of the project, from design through to manufacture and deployment. This team used the same engineering and management processes that were used to deliver the MeerKAT telescope, and 20,000 South African designed and manufactured CPAP devices were produced and are being used successfully in hospitals across South Africa. This talk will provide an insight into how an investment into a fundamental science facility has provided returns to society in unexpected ways.

Please CLICK HERE for detailed information.