MANUFACTURING

Kebs unveils new standards for local PPE manufacturing

Six manufacturers , universities and technical institutions have developed prototype ventilators

In Summary
  • Kebs, through the National Standards Council(NSC) has approved Publicly Available Specifications on critical care ventilators , reusable cloth masks and a standard on protective clothing.
  • The specifications will guide initial user evaluation of the prototype, their refinement and further development before the final certification for mass production and consumer use.

KEBS offices
KEBS offices

The Kenya Bureau of Standards(Kebs) has unveiled three new standards that will guide local manufacturers on key specifications for making Personal Protective Equipment.

Kebs, through the National Standards Council(NSC) has approved Publicly Available Specifications on critical care ventilators , reusable cloth masks and a standard on protective clothing as the fight against coronavirus continues.

The Publicly Available Specification for Critical Care Ventilators gives the minimum requirements for clinically acceptable ventilators to be used in health care premises during the current Covid-19 pandemic, managing director Bernard Njiraini said.

“It sets out the requirements of what is minimally acceptable performance in an emergency situation to provide temporary ventilatory support or respiratory assistance to patients unable to breath on their own,” Njiraini said in a statement on Thursday.

So far, six manufacturers , local universities and technical institutions have developed prototype ventilators.

They include Kenyatta University, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, TotoSci Ltd, Mutsimoto Motor Company, NJA Technologies Ltd and Metal Equipment Company Limited.

According to Kebs, the specifications will guide initial user evaluation of the prototype, their refinement and further development before the final certification for mass production and consumer use.

Following the government's directive on mandatory wearing of masks in public places, Kebs and other stakeholders have developed a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) on reusable cloth masks that guides their design, manufacture and performance evaluation with a key requirement to have two layers of fabric.

A standard that specifies the general requirements such as size ranges and examples of size designation for protective clothing used by health workers dealing with Covid-19 patients has also been approved.

This standard will supplement the other existing Kenyan Standards on health care aprons and overall clothing.

Kebs, whose mandate includes facilitating fair trade, has been guiding local manufacturers through sessions on the applicable standards for PPEs with consistent calls for strict adherence to quality standards.

The standards body has ramped up market surveillance activities to ensure consumers get certified masks, sanitisers , among others.

An additional 174 Kenya Standards to support the food and agriculture industries , housing and construction , and health sectors have also been approved.