President's Delivery Unit Secretary Andrew Wakahiu in Githunguri, Kiambu after meeting Mungai Gathogo and Joseph Muhinja [Photo: Courtesy]

Two young innovators behind locally manufactured hospital beds have a reason to smile after the government placed an order of 500 units.

They will supply beds to public hospitals currently under pressure, with increased admissions of Covid-19 cases. Mungai Gathogo, 26, and Joseph Muhinja, 35, are based in Githunguri, Kiambu County and used locally available material to make standard hospital beds. They have 45 days to deliver the 500 pieces following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention.

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Already, they have sold one bed to a home-care client and employed seven people. Their beds go for Sh65,000 each, compared to Sh85,000 for the cheapest available import. 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-Kenya-Build-Kenya policy,” PDU Secretary Andrew Wakahiu said.

Wakahiu added that the beds would 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 hasten the production.

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The bed features standard hospital design, including a reclining frame, height adjuster and a retractable serving extension. The innovation, which was inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic, also features a portable gas cylinder and a drip stand. It can easily be dismantled for transportation