The government has ordered 500 beds from two young innovators behind locally manufactured hospital beds, giving a boost to both Buy-Kenya-Build-Kenya and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mungai Gathogo, 26 and Joseph Muhinja, 35 who are based in Githunguri, Kiambu county and who rely on locally assembled material to make a standard hospital issue bed have a month and half to deliver the beds following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s personal intervention.
The President dispatched the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) to Githunguri to assess the beds and confirm the viability of the order after the innovation that has been trending in social media was brought to his attention. “I have been sent by His Excellency the President to congratulate the young innovators and to confirm the Government’s commitment to support local innovations and products by providing a market for our own under the Buy-KenyaBuild-Kenya policy,” PDU Secretary Andrew Wakahiu said.
President Kenyatta has given a major boost to two youthful innovators behind locally manufactured hospital beds by instructing the Government to immediately procure 500 beds. The beds are an innovation by 26-year-old Mungai Gathogo and Joseph Muhinja, 35. #GoKDelivers ^LC pic.twitter.com/C3wKevcBQu
— PDU Delivery (@PDUDelivery) July 15, 2020
Mr. Wakahiu said the beds will be subjected to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) protocols on their suitability for hospital use. The Government will also rope in the Numeric Machining Complex which is tasked with incubating engineering innovations to help the budding entrepreneurs with equipment and to hasten the production.
The support is seen as contributing to the Big Four Agenda, specifically manufacturing.
The locally manufactured bed features standard hospital design including a reclining frame, height adjuster and a retractable serving extension. It features a portable gas cylinder and a drip stand. It is also to easy dismantle for ease of transportation.
A statement from the Presidential Delivery Unit noted that the purchase of the beds will be a vital boost to public hospitals that are reeling under the strain of COVID-related admissions. Already, many public hospitals have run out of beds after the pandemic patients took up majority of those available.
Already, they have sold one bed to a home-care client and employed seven people. Their bed retails at around sh65,000 compared to the sh85,000 for the cheapest available import.
The virus spread has ironically, spurred a number of innovations and adaptations in the country including sanitizers, masks, ventilators and a contact-tracing app.
Gathogo and Muhinja said the government assistance and the purchase order will boost their production capacity and promised to exclusively hire more youth to attend to the growing demand.
The entrepreneurs who previously tried their business luck with local production of sanitizers and masks said they were forced to go back to the drawing board after competitors flooded the market.