4 Vietnamese universities-developed initiatives received sponsorship to cope with COVID-19 pandemic

Update: 09:57 | 29/05/2020
TGVN. Among approximately 2,000 projects from 79 countries, 4 initiatives by Vietnam National University - HCMC, the University of Danang, Ha Noi University of Science and Technology, and Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture have been qualified for funding from the Francophonie University Association (FUA) in the attempt to cope with COVID-19 pandemic.
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Robot BK-Anticovid invented by the University of Danang at the ceremony of transition to patients. (Photo: UDN)

FUA made an announcement on May 26 that 4 initiatives of the tertiary educational institutions received sponsorship from the fund used for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. According to FUA, Vietnam prevailed over other Asia-Pacific countries in terms of the number of selected projects.

In particular, the Vietnam National University – HCMC’s initiative has offered a medium to laboratories in developing affordable COVID-19 test kits that swiftly produce accurate diagnosis results on the basis of recombinant protein technology. This project was implemented in collaboration between Vietnam National University - HCMC and another biotechnology-specialized business.

With the idea of manufacturing a robot serving infected patients in quarantine areas, the University of Danang also channeled its efforts into the process of medical equipments production to reduce the possibility of cross infections between patients and healthcare staff. Robot BK-AntiCovid is mainly programmed to transport food, medications and other items into quarantine areas for patients.

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This product was devised by lecturers and students from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the request of the Danang Hospital for Women and Children. The first version has been put into place at Danang-based hospitals since March, 2020.

The Ha Noi University of Science and Technology collaborated with the Bach Mai Hospital in inventing negative-pressure quarantined stretchers that are instrumental in protecting the community and medical staff from risks of infections arising from the transportation of COVID-19 patients.

The Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture suggested the initiative for “Foldable Aerosol Boxes” which is intended to prevent virus infections through aerosols and airborne droplets, thereby safeguarding doctors from possible dangers involved in the intubation for patients.

This item is highlighted at the foldable feature which facilitates its delivery to far-flung hospitals. It has been piloted in several Vietnam hospitals and received positive feedback. The research team has been envisioning further developments of this equipment on both national and international scales.

These 4 “made in Vietnam” projects were selected among 2,000 dossiers from 79 countries within the framework of international funding concentrated on mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic by FUA.

The goal of this fund is to accelerate the contributions of tertiary educational institutions to developing possible measures that are serviceable for the overall healthcare system and citizens in overcoming difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the social, economic or technological perspectives, the funded projects must display strong commitment to exerting powerful effects in short duration. Especially, those that had already been evaluated, certified, nationally accredited and women-led would be put at an advantage.

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According to Ouidad Tebbaa, Director of Asia-Pacific region of FUA, “The FUA’s COVID-19 response fund is indicative of competences for innovations and adaptations made by Vietnamese higher educational institutions during the pandemic period. Some institutions even submitted applications for many projects, which is a testament to substantial contributions and tremendous creativity of researchers.”

“We received 92 project applications from the Asia-Pacific region, 61 of which from Vietnam. 4 out of 8 selected projects in the Asia-Pacific region were based in Vietnam, thanks to such great creativity. That is concrete evidence for the crucial role of higher educational institutions in social development and mitigation of global challenges”, she added.

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(TGVN)