A Nigerian tertiary institution, Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu is blazing the trail in the production of ventilators, sanitizers and face masks as its own contributions to efforts aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the country.
Following this giant stride, the college invited the National Orthopaedic Hospital which has a stake on care as well as the utilisation of ventilators in the country.
The hospital’s team during its visit to the college to examine the quality of the ventilators, gave a thumb up to the college for the laudable initiative, but advised it to make the product more unique by reframing it from its current electricity-driven state to a gas-powered product.
A team of assessors from the Federal Ministry of Health also visited the college to assess the quality of the production.
According to a statement by the institution’s Head of Public Relations, Mr. Omololu Ogunmade, weekend, the Rector of the College, Dr. John Emaimo, said the hospital team disclosed that turbine gas-powered ventilators are more effective than those powered by electricity.
The statement said the rector added that operations of electricity powered-ventilators will be disrupted whenever power supply fails while gas powered-ventilators can function uninterrupted for days.
He was quoted as saying, “The National Orthopaedic Hospital which handles the aspect of utilisation of ventilators advised us to make it unique to serve the end users.
“They said it will be good if we can change it to a turbine gas-powered product from the electricity driven-facilities because if electricity blinks, application is addressed but the volume of gas being used can be measured.
“They said if we make it gas-driven, we can put a patient on the ventilator for two days and go and sleep. So, they said we should move away from electricity-driven production to gas-driven initiative by taking the novelty of go-gas initiative.”
The rector added that the college was prepared to patent the products by selling the rights to produce the ventilators to a company that will in turn be paying it for its initiative.
The college has also produced large quantities of face masks, face shields and sanitizers and distributed them to appropriate places for usage of citizens.
The college also donated 50 copies of face masks and bottles of sanitizers respectively to the Ministry of Health.
The ministry in its words of appreciation to the college, conveyed in a letter signed by Senior Technical Assistant to the Health Minister, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, assured the college that the items would be put to good use.
In the letter, titled: “Donation of Hand Sanitizers and Face Masks,” Isokpunwu said, “I wish to extend the appreciation of the ministry for the gesture and to assure assure you that the items will be put to good use in our fight against COVID-19 pandemic.”
Explaining how the college achieved the feat, Dr. Emaimo said different departments of the school produced different items.
According to him, the college Biomedical Engineering Department produced the ventilators, pharmacists produced the sanitizers while entrepreneurship department produced the face masks and face shields.
Credit: Vanguard newspaper