A Breath Of Clean Air
Big Issue|Issue 293
An enterprising group of South African doctors, engineers and designers based in East London has invented a medical device that revolutionises oxygen delivery to COVID-19 patients.

As South African healthcare workers struggled to contain a second wave of COVID-19 in January this year, the licencing approval of the OxERA (Oxygen-Efficient Respiratory Aid) device offered some hope. This simple, efficient, portable and cost-effective device delivers consistently high levels of oxygen to COVID-19 patients and helps to keep their lungs from collapsing,

This proudly South African invention could be a game changer where there are a large number of Coronavirus patients yet a lack of skilled staff, ICU and high-care facilities; and insufficient bulk oxygen supplies. It effectively bridges the gap between current standard oxygen therapy via face masks and ICU-based non-invasive or mechanical ventilation, while requiring no more oxygen flow than a standard face mask.

The device was developed by a group of East London based volunteers that includes doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approved the OxERA device for emergency COVID-19 use in January, and will be manufactured and distributed by Gabler Medical.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BIG ISSUEView All

The year of the ark

Bonang Mohale, a leading businessman and Chancellor of the University of the Free State, recently delivered a speech at a masters’ and doctoral graduation ceremony, from which many South Africans can draw inspiration. This is an edited version of his speech.

3 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

An inside job

Yusuf Ganief, Executive Chairperson of Cape Town Festival and lead singer and manager of the music duo Desert Rose, invites us to join his journey in search of freedom.

4 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

Mind Your Language

Shadrack Ncele, an undergraduate law student, articulates his inner conflict and double consciousness as a young man born into isiXhosa culture who is now immersed in the English language.

6 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

Two Lies And A Half Truth

Marketing Campaign Strategist Jordan Pieters delves into the disparities between the constitutional freedoms that young South Africans have been born into, and their lived realities.

5 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

A Question Of Liberty

While there is still much to be done to achieve true freedom for all South Africans, media veteran Ryland Fisher shares why we have reason to celebrate.

5 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

Careful What You Wish For

Former newspaper editor Gasant Abarder refl ects on past fantasies about freedom and the imperfections that come with living in a democracy.

3 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

Being Homeless Isn't A Crime

According to Statistics South Africa, ours is the most unequal country in the world. And this inequality is visible in all of our cities. Unless you are living under a rock, you’ll be aware that South Africa has a large homeless population.

4 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

Living Without Chaos

South African social philosopher and poet Athol Williams weighs up the cost of unfettered chaos.

4 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 294

Living gently

Nicola Rabkin shares what a typical, environmentally conscious day looks like for her family, who is striving for eco-mindfulness.

4 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 293

BUBBLES SANS BOOZE

Zari Sparkling, an alcohol-free bubbly, has been creating a new niche in the beverage sector since 2010.

5 mins read
Big Issue
Issue 293