Coronavirus: Bayero University to produce ventilators

A team of engineering academics at the Bayero University Kano are working towards the fabrication of ventilator as a contribution of the institution’s quota towards fighting off the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (COVID 19).

A ventilator is a machine that aids people who cannot breaths on their own by pumping air in and out of their lungs through tubes passed through their wind pipes.

BUK’s Faculty of Engineering had set up a seven-man committee with a view to producing prototype ventilators for an emergency use in Kano hospitals and other isolation centres as part of efforts to contain the pandemic which has been threatening the country.

“Following the discussions on the Faculty of Engineering Forum on the need to contribute our quota towards the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic, a seven man Committee is hereby composed,” said a terse statement signed by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Salisu Dan’ azumi.

According to the Dean, the Committee under the chairmanship of Professor Abdussamad Jibia from the Department of Mechatronics Engineering is expected to design and fabricate a prototype ventilator which would be use as an emergency measures in our hospitals.

Other members of the committee were Professor Ibrahim Abdullahi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Habibu Rabiu from Electrical Engineering Dept; Dr. Mustapha Mohammed, Mechatronics Engineering Dept; Dr. Mubarak D. Mohammed of Mechanical Engineering Dept; Dr. Amir A. Bature from Electrical Engineering Dept and Dr. Ado Haruna from Mechatronics Engineering Department respectively.

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He said the Committee which had since swung into action was given two weeks within which to present its report to the Faculty Board including the design and construction of prototype ventilator for emergency use in hospitals and homes to treat patients of COVID 19 pandemic.

Equally, Professor Dan’ azumi revealed that the Committee was charged with the responsibility of suggesting the modality for mass production of the designed and fabricated ventilators. It would also give an estimate of the cost of producing the ventilators.

The Dean further hinted that if succeeded in the production of the prototype, the deanery will approach the University Management for sponsorship and possible reach out to relevant agencies such as National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), states and federal government for mass production.

Already, he said the team had been brainstorming with a view to achieving the desire objectives.

Hand sanitisers too

The University’s Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry also said its staff have been engaged in the production of hand sanitisers to be used within the university campus and possibly the Kano community.

Already, a number of the academic staff from the Department who volunteered to participate in the project with a view to contributing their quota towards fighting the COVID 19, are currently in the laboratories formulating the sanitisers based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) specifications..

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According to the Head, Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Dr Ibrahim Siraj who announced this, the idea was borne out of the desire to give a helping hand in the fight against the disease.

He said, “in view of the gravity of the Corona Virus and the urgent need for all stakeholders to join hands in containing the pandemic, the Department felt it had a vital role to play in this direction.

“As you are aware, Universities were known to be serving as research centres where solutions are proffered for any problem facing the society, and now it is time to prove to this, hence, our decision to mobilize our members to the laboratories with a view to producing hand sanitizers as stop-gap measures,” he declared.

Dr Siraj, noted that, the Department has all that it takes to produce the internationally standard hand sanitizers in line with the specifications of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We have the technical experts, we have standard laboratories for the formulation and we have the commitment to do it.”

He added that after the production of the sample of the hand sanitisers, they would be submitted to the University Management for further action, which may include possible financial backing to procure the chemicals and other implements for mass production.

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“As you can see now, our scientists from the Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry are currently in the laboratories mixing the chemicals to come up with a quality and standard hand sanitizers,” said the Dr. Siraj.

According to him, the idea was part of the University’s contribution towards containing the spread of the disease. He pointed out that, since we do not have advanced medical facilities, the best thing to do under the circumstance is to produce hand sanitizers and distribute to the public which is a very fundamental strategy in fighting the disease.

Explaining further, Professor Abdurahman Abdul Audu, who was also at the Laboratory helping other researchers said, the BUK branded hand sanitizers would be very effective as they will strictly abide by the WHO standards. “According to WHO, the required formulations for hand sanitizers include ethanol, hydrogen peroxide as well as glycerol and water, so here in BUK we shall strictly adhere to this formulations.”

In a related development, the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) got a N30 million contract from the Kwara State government to mass produce hand sanitisers for upward distribution to residents of the state.

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