There is a famous saying that “If we had no winters, the spring would not be so pleasant: If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”. Though Corona has brought a greater crisis for the nations, it has also provided opportunities to those nations who are resilient and intelligent enough. The rapid spread of corona meant that every country has to cater for its need before giving outward. The crisis was therefore specifically harsh on countries, who were not self-sufficient in the production of essential medical equipment.
When the pandemic hit Pakistan, the virus spread at a rapid pace even more than what was predicted. The emergent situation exposed fragility and shallowness of our health care system bringing to light many grave problems. One of the major problem which Pakistan even now is facing is shortage of ventilators. Presently, hospitals have only 1503 ventilators countrywide for the treatment of COVID patients. Though government through NDMA has taken urgent steps to import necessary medical equipment including ventilator from generous countries such as china to cater for the shortage. However, long supply chain and lack of supply in international market emerged as a big challenge and therefore, Pakistan has not yet been able to complete its deficiency.
In the midst of all this, Federal Minister for science and technology Fawad Chaudhry came up with the idea to produce ventilators, masks, testing kits and other medical tools at domestic level. The idea at first seemed to be a political rhetoric, however, as a pleasant surprise, Pakistan has reached the milestone of developing indigenous ventilators.
These specifically, “Made in Pakistan Ventilators” are portable; they could be operational in ambulances and at homes. Their cost of production and sale price would be less than the market rates. Pakistan Engineers Council team has approved the European standardized manufacturing of these vents.
Federal ministry of science and technology in collaboration with the ministry of defence production initiated the production of ventilators and other electro-Mechanical medical based equipment in National Radio Telecommunication Corporation ( NRTC) and other defence production factories to boost the country’ capital goods. “Freight of twelve ventilators is currently ready to be handed over to National Disaster Management Authority, after which mass production would be started to make up the shortage of ventilators in country”, said Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry.
The present government is the crown bearer for major development in starting indigenous industry in electro-mechanical medical equipment. Earlier, National University of Science and Technology has also manufactured the corona virus protective gear kits.
Engineers and scientist are being taken on-board to inspect and prepare the essentials against pandemic. They have also developed the oxygenators and testing machines. “We have devised and pilot tested the corona testing tool, that would be able to give results in forty-five minutes” said the Minister Fawad Chaudhry. “Pakistan earned Hundred million dollars through the exports of medical manufactured goods and soon ventilators would add more value to it”, he added.
The country’s best came out in the troubles as Napoleon Bonaparte stated, “It is in times of difficulty that great nations like great men display the whole energy of their character and become an object of admiration to posterity”. One hope that this rapid pace of this indigenisation will continue and will also be replicated in other sectors to enable Pakistan to earn valuable revenue.