The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) says three standards that will guide local manufactures on key specifications for making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are now available.
Through the National Standards Councils (NSC), KEBS 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 a clinically acceptable ventilator to be used in health care premises during the current covid-19 pandemic. It sets out the requirements of what us ‘minimally acceptable’ performance in an emergency situation to provide temporary ventilator support or respiratory assistance to patients unable to breathe on their own.” Lt. Col. (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.
So far, six manufactures, local universities and technical intuitions which include; Kenyatta University (KU), Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT), TotoSci Ltd, Mutsimoto Company Ltd, NJA Technologies Ltd and Metal Equipment Company Ltd have developed prototype ventilators. This specification will guide initial user evaluation of prototypes, their refinement and further development before the final certification for mass production and consumer use.
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On 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 will guide their design, manufacture and performance evaluation with a key requirement to have two layers of fabric.
Also approved is 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. This standard will supplement the other existing Kenya Standards on health care aprons and overall clothing.
KEBS has been guiding local manufactures through sessions on the applicable standards for PPEs with consistent calls for strict adherence to the quality standards. They have also ramped up market surveillance activities to ensure consumers get certified masks, sanitizers, among others.
An additional 174 Kenya Standards to support the food and agriculture industries, housing and construction, health sectors have also been approved.
To check the validity of the Standard Mark Permit on products sold or purchased, one should send the code underneath the Standardization Marl logo to 20023 (ie. Type message SM#Code and SMS to 20023) to get product manufacturing details and permit validity status or ISM#UCRCode for imported products.
If the details are different, the members of the public are asked to report to KEBS Toll Free Number 1545.