UM donates ventilator prototypes to universities in Angola and Mozambique

The University of Macau (UM) will donate two ventilator prototypes developed by the institution to Angola and Mozambique, and train teams in those countries to be able to manufacture new equipment, the vice-chancellor of UM told Lusa.

The prototypes were developed by UM, in collaboration with the Macau Institute for Development and Quality, “based on existing technology”, and represent great cost savings, said Rui Martins.

“They are much cheaper than normal, ten per cent or less of the price, and are ready for use in the hospital by patients who need them,” said the vice-chancellor of the University of Macau.

Martins guaranteed that the prototypes are “of low price, but of high quality”, having been certified by medical teams in the territory.

In parallel, the University of Macau will also “train engineers and doctors [of those countries] to develop new prototypes in Angola and Mozambique”.

“In addition to the donation, it is also a transfer of technology to these two countries”, stressed Rui Martins, considering that the initiative shows the willingness to help from Macau, a territory that registered only 46 cases of covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic but that currently has no active cases.

“Macau has had no case for many months, and I hope it will remain so in the future, and we have this opportunity to help these two countries, with two universities that are our partners,” said the vice-chancellor.

The prototypes will be delivered to the Pedagogical University of Maputo, in Mozambique, and to the Mandume ya Ndemufayo University, in Lubango, Angola, with which UM has cooperation protocols, within the scope of the Association of Portuguese Language Universities (AULP), during a ceremony on Friday with representatives of the two countries.

The consul general of Mozambique in Macau, Rafael Marques, told Lusa that the donation “will be a great asset to support the health authorities” and “help save lives”, pointing out that, although the country’s situation is not for now “alarming”, new infections continue to appear.

Mozambique is currently the Portuguese-speaking country in Africa with the highest number of positive cases, having recorded 12,273 covid-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic and 89 deaths, followed by Angola, which leads in number of deaths, with 9,871 infected and 271 Deaths.

The consul general of Angola in Macau, Eduardo Galiano, welcomed the offer, saying that the planned training will also “help [Angolan] technicians to handle the equipment that the Government is purchasing from China”.

Angola last week declared a state of public calamity and reinforced measures to combat the pandemic.

The University of Macau annually receives between 70 and 100 students from Portuguese-speaking countries, including from Angola and Mozambique, both in undergraduate and master’s and doctoral degrees, according to the vice-chancellor.