The young women used a design from M.I.T. and parts from old Toyota Corollas.
A robotics team made up entirely of young women from Afghanistan developed a lightweight, low-cost ventilator.
The invention, currently pending approval, is in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has been exhausting the country's hospitals, which reportedly only has 800 ventilators to treat patients.
According to Reuters, the Afghan Robotics Team first began developing the ventilator back in March, after COVID-19 hit the region.
Somaya Faruqi, a high school student and the team's captain, worked alongside six other teenage girls to develop the machine, which can run on battery power for 10 hours and costs about $700 to produce; traditional ventilators can cost $20,000 on average.
The women used a design from M.I.T. and parts from old Toyota Corollas with the hope it could be replicated and mass-produced, according to NPR.
Faruqi told Reuters: "We are delighted that we were able to take our first step in the field of medicine and be able to serve the people in this area as well. All members of our team feel happy because after months of hard work, we were able to achieve this result.”
Three years ago the robotics team were refused visas twice to enter the U.S. for a competition, which gained international attention. After public outcry, President Donald Trump intervened and let them in.
The robotics team went on to win an award during one of the competitions.
"That award was a result of our hard work. And it's made us work even harder." Farqui said when talking about the ventilators, "Even if it saves just one patient's life, I'll be happy."
Afghanistan currently has around 35,500 COVID-19 cases and 1,181 deaths. However, experts fear the true count is probably much higher due to low testing rates.