COVID-19 Overwhelming Africa With Few Ventilators, But

But There's a Very Simple Solution Which Was Endorsed by the FDA
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* Africa COVID

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* Washington - District of Columbia - US

WASHINGTON - May 13, 2020 - PRLog -- Every one of the 54 U.N.-recognized African countries now has COVID-19 patients - with 65,500 cases (up from 19,000 only a few weeks ago) and over 2,400 fatalities already - and experts are predicting dire consequences, with the UN Economic Commission for Africa reporting that Africa might see 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections, and, even under a best-case scenario, a total of 300,000 deaths from the coronavirus can be expected this year alone.

Making things much worse, most countries in Africa have very few ventilators; WHO says fewer than 2000 ventilators among 41 countries (Somalia has none) and even fewer people trained to operate them, and in many places no reliable electric supply to operate them, so many experts are predicting a catastrophic situation, far exceeding that experienced in the U.S. and other countries which have many ventilators, now that cases of COVID-19 have begin to exponentially balloon on that continent.

But a novel proven strategy now growing in use could make it possible to provide enough respiratory assistance to save hundreds of thousands of African lives, even for people who live in remove areas without access to reliable electricity, much less ventilators and those trained to operate them, says professor John Banzhaf, who was one of the first to suggest and aggressively promote this new procedure.

But CPAP, BiPAP, and similar breathing machines - sometimes called "poor man's ventilators," and used to treat snoring and other sleep apnea problems - have now been approved for use in treating COVID-19 patients, and have been shown to be effective in many cases.

Banzhaf, an MIT-educated engineer and inventor, was one of the first to suggest and widely promote the concept of using these comparatively simple and much less expensive devices in many situations in which a COVID-19 patient required respiratory assistance to remain alive, but did not necessarily need the full power and sophistication of a modern hospital ventilator.

His suggestion received a major boost when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] not only recommended the procedure, but made it legal by a ruling dated March 22. @profbanzhaf

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