Ingenuity born out of lockdown

At the height of COVID-19 lockdown measures in New Zealand, necessity and ingenuity bred a solution to a crucial health challenge many countries were experiencing. A low-cost pandemic ventilator was developed by three neighbours – an engineer and two doctors – and is now in demand to help ease the burden of the pandemic on other countries.

As the domestic and international effects of COVID-19 became increasingly catastrophic, Managing Director of ES Plastics Jeff Sharp reached out to his two neighbours, Dr Martyn Harvey and Dr Giles Chanwai from Hamilton, New Zealand.

The three neighbours discussed ES Plastics’ capabilities and what they could do to assist in an effective national response to COVID-19.

Dr Harvey is directing the Waikato Hospital response to COVID-19 and Dr Chanwai is an emergency response specialist; both were working on the front line at the time. The two doctors were well-aware of the impending stress COVID-19 would place on the public health services. The biggest concern was the limited availability of ventilator units, which were mainly staffed ventilator beds, with only 153 in public hospitals New Zealand wide.