Oct. 23 - Engineering students in Gaza have designed a prototype ozone gas generator to sterilise hospital rooms, a difficult task in a country living with economic sanctions imposed by the surrounding state of Israel. Their device activates oxygen and transforms it into ozone gas by using an electric charge of 80,000 volts. Jim Drury reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL UPSOT: HOSPITAL NOISE Hospitals in Gaza can be chaotic. Locals say the Israeli economic blockade creates shortages of medicine and equipment, and fuel supplies for power generators are often unreliable. But these enterprising students from Gaza's College of Applied Sciences, say their ozone gas generator can alleviate some of the pressure. The device is designed to kill bacteria while sterilising operating rooms. Lead engineer Mohammed Timraz says it's far more efficient than other ozone based machines. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) ENGINEER, MOHAMMED TIMRAZ, SAYING: "Other devices used around the world that generate ozone gas and sterilise rooms require five or six days, which is not practical. The device we have created requires only three to four hours, making it useable on a daily basis." The prototype activates oxygen and transforms it into ozone gas by using an electric charge of 80,000 volts. The ozone gas will engulf the entire room, killing germs unreachable by traditional disinfectant treatments. The machine is mobile and can generate ozone gas directly from the atmosphere or an oxygen supply. Gaza heart surgeon, Marwan Sadiq, says he wants more such generators built. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) MARWAN SADIQ, HEART SURGEON, AL SHIFA HOSPITAL, MARWAN SADIQ, SAYING: "This invention will decrease the percentage of infections after surgery, especially major surgery, open-heart surgery and joint replacement surgery. Bone surgeries, in particular, require a high level of sterilisation, so we are extremely supportive." But before the device can be put to use, the students need a licence from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. They're also seeking funding to build more generators and ease the burden on hospitals, surgeons and their patients.