First Technical University produces, donates washable face masks to Oyo

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The First Technical University, Ibadan has donated washable face masks it produced to the Oyo State Government to support the Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration in its fight against coronavirus.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Ayobami Salami, led principal officers of the institution to the Ministry of Health in Ibadan, where the donation was made on Thursday.

Among the principal officers were the Registrar, Olayinka Balogun; Bursar, Kehinde Olatokun; and the university’s Legal Adviser, Adeyemi Opakunle.

They were received by top officials of the Health Ministry, led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Basir Bello.

Speaking at the event, Professor Salami said Tech-U’s Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Centre decided to produce and donate the washable masks as its own contribution to the efforts to curtail the pandemic.

“As a university, we believe that we are strategically placed to be part of the solution to the pandemic,” the VC said.

“That is why our TVET Centre produced the masks.

“Sir, our face masks are different from others in terms of quality and durability. Most masks, you use them and dispose.

“But because we consider the fact that there is the need to help the generality of our people in conserving fund, we make the mask washable.

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“You use it, you wash it and wear it again.

“Immediately the coronavirus became a pandemic, we decided to support the state Emergency Operation Centre with the design and production of information and awareness materials as well as well as ICT support for the emergency operations, including surveillance, contact tracing, data analysis and database management.

He also disclosed that the university was working towards producing ventilators.

“Right now, First Technical University research team is also working towards the production of ventilators.

“Our belief is that more than ever before, universities and other higher institutions in Nigeria must be practically and innovatively relevant to the advancement of society.

“As a Technical University, that is our vision and we thus thank the Ministry of Health and the government in general for always giving us the opportunity to demonstrate relevance and corporate social responsibility.”

Salami stressed that the masks are also available for the public for sale at a modest price and with the advantage that they can use and wash it and use again.

In his response, the commissioner acknowledged the cordial relationship between the ministry and Tech-U.

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He recalled that the institution had been supporting the ministry through its earlier gesture to the Emergency Operation Centre.

Bello said the masks would prove useful, especially with the re-usability factor.

He therefore solicited the university’s continuous search for interventions that are evidence-based.

According to him, Oyo State is approaching the management of the coronavirus pandemic with fact and necessity of reality.

He said that was why the lockdown it was adopting was partial because completely shutting down the system would mean locking down the entire economy in which you have many poor people also operating.

In Bello’s words, “The Tech U’s offer is coming on time and it has a unique value, which is usability.

“That value is immense compared to the disposable ones, given the level of economy.”

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