Covid-19: BUK Produces Locally Manufactured Ventilator

A team of 13 intellectuals comprising 9 members from Faculty of Engineering and 5 medical experts in Bayero University, Kano produced a prototype ventilator as part of the University’s   effort to fight the dreaded CoronaVirus pandemic which has continued to ravage the entire world.

The ventilator is based on the design developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States, to provide emergency ventilation in the absence of conventional ventilators during the Covid-19 pandemic. The concept is based on automating manual ventilation using a standard Ambu bag which is readily available in any medical outfit. The system has two main parts: The mechanical and electrical/control parts. 

The mechanical parts consist of a mechanism to press the Ambu bag to and fro to provide air at desired pressure and mass flow rate to the patient. It consists of fingers driven by a gearing system powered by a DC motor. The electrical/control part consists of a microcontroller, sensors, switches and a power supply. The function of this is to control the mechanical fingers in pressing the Ambu bag to provide mechanical ventilation at a pre-set mass flow rate, breath per minute and inspiration/ expiration ratio. The control system uses feedback from the patient to provide in assist or sedated mode.

Speaking during an inspection of the prototype ventilator at the Faculty of Engineering on Friday 1st May, 2020, the Vice Chancellor said the production of this very important gadget was part of the university’s contribution to fight the disease.

The Vice Chancellor assured the team of University’s maximum cooperation and assistance in whatever means to actualize the dream of BUK to blaze the trail in this regard.

The Chairman of the ventilator assembly team, Professor Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the prototype was developed using locally made materials, adding that the next stage now for the ventilator is to test it on animals after which the test will be carried out on humans.

Prof Abdullahi further explained that apart from fighting covid-19, the ventilator could be useful in many ways to save the lives of the people. He noted that the Faculty had collaborated with some organizations like FAAN to commence mass and commercial production of the ventilator.

“The ventilator operates in two modes, in the first mode, it breezes for the patients and in the second mode it supports the breezing for the patient. In addition, it has a controller in which it can operate automatically depending on the condition of the patient,” he added.

The Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Professor Salisu Dan Azumi, said the ventilator was designed to be low cost in view of the high cost of the imported one. He said the cost of production of the fabricated one was less than N500,000.

It will be recalled that about a month ago the University set up a team of engineers with the mandate of producing a prototype ventilator for possible production as part of effort to help government in fighting the Corona Virus.