Kijenzi, a local manufacturing startup in Kisumu has been doing the most during this time of COVID-19. Made up of medical engineers who have teamed up to provide solutions to the medical field, they have specialized in 3D technology printing of personal protective equipment well-known as PPE for frontline health workers.
Voted among the top 30 most inspiring digital innovations 2020 by the Spindle, their main mission is to digitize supply chain that will deliver critical, hard to get items to make it easy for healthcare workers to do what they do best which is helping people.
According to David Oginga Okia, the firm engineer, they ventured into this innovation to help the health sector and not to profit from it.
“We usually manufacture medical spare parts for hospitals but during this COVID-19 pandemic, they decided to manufacture face shields and touchless door handles to help the country cut costs while at the same time boosting quality and volumes of production.” He said during an interview.
He adds that they have manufactured many medical spare parts like incubator latches, microscope knobs, and ventilator valves but decided to venture on PPE after conducting research in some hospitals and saw many microscopes broken and not in good condition; This led them to design the knobs, manufactured them and replaced them. It was also an eye-opener for them to try and innovate ways they can work on more spare parts since getting some of the spare parts in the country can be hard at times.
After manufacturing personal protective equipment, they sell to both hospitals at ksh. 250 and other institutions like hotels at a very favorable price of ksh. 300 which are affordable compared to supplies from other countries despite being of the same quality. The market quite huge and only technology can meet the demand.
They are proud to be one of the many innovators working on new digital initiatives that contribute to an inclusive and sustainable world. Although their main focus has always been 3D printing spares and products, they have a much bigger vision than that which is to use digital manufacturing services for much more than just plastic parts. They feel like as a startup company, they can solve the problem of inefficient and incomplete supply of products to lower resourced areas around the world.