COVID-19: ABU unveils locally made ventilator

A team of engineers in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, has unveiled a locally invented ventilator to enhance the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Prof. Muhammad-Sani Sallau, Director Equipment Maintenance and Development Centre, ABU, said this at the unveiling of the equipment at the university in Zaria on Friday.

Sallau, who is also the team leader and Acting Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, told newsmen that the university has made a breakthrough and working toward safeguarding the innovation of the product.

“We are currently processing the patenting as well as trademarking to further safeguard the product.

“We are receiving maximum cooperation from government agencies in this regard,” Sallau said.

He added that the university was in the process of getting the needed equipment to produce more ventilators as part of its academic research contribution in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The team leader also said they had received all the necessary support from the appropriate authorities.

“As a research centre, we only invent but look for companies and organisations to sponsor the project for mass production,” he said

According to him, universities are research centres and their mandate is to develop the technology for manufacturers to buy into their research development.

Sallau urged government to fund the innovation to help boost mass production of the home made ventilator.

He said such development would also assist to reduce import of ventilators as well as save foreign exchange.

According to him, Raw Materials Research and Development Centre (RMRDC) have acknowledged that ventilator produced by ABU engineers was the best among those produced with local materials they came across.

He said RMRDC has also promised to link up the university with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to endorse the project for sponsorship.

“The engineers have dedicated themselves particularly at this period of lockdown to invent the ventilator for the nation’s development,” he said.

One of the team members, Dr Kaisan Muhammad Usman, of Mechanical Engineering Department, ABU, said the project was to complement government efforts in the fight against the spread the Coronavirus in Nigeria.

He called on government to develop the university’s capacity to produce the machine in large quantity and also to fund research and innovation in the Nigerian Universities. (NAN)