The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, Bayero University, Kano has constructed a locally made ventilator which is expected to come handy in the fight against COVID-19, especially when it comes to critical cases.
Judicial Sketch obtained the video demonstration of the ventilator which was released April 29, 2020, and was called BUK Emergency Ventilator.
Dr Mubarak D. Mohammed who did the demo stated that the design of the BUK Emergency Ventilator was based on the model of the Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology (MIT) Emergency Ventilator project which he said was on the verge of obtaining the requisite global approval for its usage.
Beyond the 2.58-minute demo, Dr Mohammed refused to respond to further questions on the motivation behind the project, the cost of production or its amenability to be mass-produced.
The Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Professor Salisu Dan’azumi also failed to comment on the project, but a source told Judicial Sketch that “the engineers at the faculty collaborated with the technicians to brainstorm over the attempts by others to build ventilators. They realized that what some have produced so far was just an air pumping machine, and that a ventilator would take some time to build with MIT spending about 37 days.”
Part of the initial challenge was how to fine-tune some basic parameters which included “the delivered air pressure, intake-outtake ratio, frequency of the intake and so on. They were conscious of the need to have a setting adjustment so that it could serve different people with different breathing rate, especially because of age differences.”
He said the project has already passed the clinical stage and that the ventilator is only waiting for “a befitting and presentable casing or housing.
Judicial Sketch learnt that it was not a smooth ride all through, as the chairman of the initial committee put in place by the Dean had to resign out of frustration, giving room for another person take over and see the project through.
Judicial Sketch had reported earlier that the University of Benin produced a ventilator which it said has also been clinically tested and presented to the university’s health centre to be used for COVID-19 emergency cases.
Already, the BUK Faculty of Engineering has completed plans to host what it called a “Sensitization Webinar on BUK’s Locally Produced Ventilator” to be held via http://shorturl.at/nwEIW on Saturday, May 16, 2020 between 2 and 3pm.