Ghana could soon begin the production of ventilators to boost healthcare delivery.
This follows the production of four low-cost ventilator prototypes by the Academic City University College (ACUC), a private tertiary institution at Haatso, a suburb of Accra.
The ventilators will be sent to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), and once approved, actual production will begin.
Developed by a 12-member team of the ACUC, led by its President, Professor Fred McBagonluri, the ventilators were made from leather, a car windscreen wiper motor, PVC pipes, wood and 3D printing of rack and pinion.
In all, it took about a week after the concept had been developed to produce the four prototypes. The first one took three days; second one, two days and the third and fourth, one day each.
According to Prof. McBagonluri, the ability of the faculty and students to design and develop the ventilator prototypes was good news to the country’s health sector since such devices assisted sick people to breathe properly.
“Ventilators are one of the hottest commodities around the world now because of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world, he said.
He added that “because of our confidence-building process, we decided to take that challenge to develop the product.”
Having spent 16 years of life in the manufacturing of medical equipment, he said the university college could produce the ventilators on a large scale in the country, provided all the raw materials were available.
For instance, he said, 50 per cent of the materials used for the prototypes were local raw materials while the remainder was foreign.
He expressed the hope that with time, many foreign materials imported into the country could be produced locally since the “beauty about manufacturing is that it has its own ability to trigger a supply chain”.
Prof. McBangonluri commended the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Standards Authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo, and the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, for their support.
According to him, some doctors from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital who visited the university to look at what had been done, were highly impressed by what they saw.
He said he was challenged to develop the prototypes when he heard that the US was preventing medical supplies from being shipped to Canada and Turkey to support their COVID-19 response.
“In a crisis like this, countries begin to look inward. This is an opportunity that we cannot lose. We have been pushed against the wall now; we have no choice; we either push back or we break,” he said.
He said Africa’s education had to be relevant to the continent’s experience.
Source: Daily Graphic
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