The Peruvian engineers making life-saving devices for COVID patients
12 April 2021
Three mechanical engineers from Lima – Daniel Akamine, Fernando Sato and Camilo Parra – are making mechanical devices that help COVID patients breathe more easily and recover.
The trio of colleagues, who first met at university, are using their know-how and equipment to manufacture UCL-Ventura CPAP machines for local hospitals.
The devices were developed by a team of UCL engineers, University College Hospital clinicians and industry partners Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in March 2020. The Peruvian team downloaded the UCL-Ventura designs when they were released for free, globally, last April.
Daniel, Fernando and Camilo have renamed the UCL-Ventura the Wayrachi, which means ‘that which gives air’ in Quechuan, an indigenous Peruvian language. As of April 2021, they have manufactured 750 Wayrachi devices, which are being used in 60 hospitals.
Watch their story
Fundraising for the next steps
The team have overcome a number of obstacles to reach this stage of their journey. They persevered through a strict national lockdown, a shortage of factory workers and logistical challenges to make their first devices.
Although the Wayrachi team have succeeded in making an incredible number of devices, the breathing circuit component for the CPAPs cannot be manufactured in Peru and needs to be sourced from the UK. With help from the Peru Embassy in the UK and Gloucestershire-based suppliers G-TEM, UCL has been helping the team acquire breathing circuits but further funds are required to cover the basic costs. With your support, we can send even more breathing circuit kits to the international teams manufacturing UCL-Ventura devices.