Technical University Produces Digital, Mechanical Ventilators

The First Technical University (Tech-U), Ibadan, Oyo State, has produced two prototypes of ventilators – one digital, the other mechanical.

Vice-chancellor of the institution, Professor Ayobami Salami, said the consideration for situations where there might not be electricity made the production of the mechanical ventilator necessary.

Tech-U’s team of researchers, engineers, and technologists, led by Dr. Olawale Ajibola from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, presented the prototypes to the management on Tuesday. Also at the unveiling of the ventilators were the deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Adesola Ajayi; the registrar, Mrs. Olayinka Balogun, and bursar, Mr. Kehinde Olatokun.

Commending the team for the feat, which he described as timely, Professor Salami said the successful production of the equipment indicated that the university was determined to prove its relevance as a theory and practice-oriented one.

He said, “Our country and the world, in general, are facing a common strong enemy at the moment. Apart from disrupting almost every facet of our lives, COVID-19 has proved to everyone that you cannot, as a people, always rely on other nations for survival because everyone is primarily now fighting its own battle, trying to primarily save the lives of its own people.

“The best we can do for ourselves as Nigerians, therefore, is to turn the adversity created by coronavirus into a blessing by looking inwards and devising strategies and solutions that will be useful even after the pandemic might have gone.

“Amid the current crisis, many people have been asking questions concerning what Nigerian universities have been doing to stop the disease. Indeed, they are extending the question to other fundamental challenges that the country is facing, including those bordering on power generation and supply.

“These are valid questions because tertiary institutions must be at the center of national development for them to be able to earn their names. Of course, there is a big hole in this regard in the Nigerian education industry and that is what Technical University is poised to fill.”

The vice-chancellor further said that the management would present the ventilators to the Governor Seyi Makinde, who is also the visitor of the university.

While commenting on the equipment, the team leader, Dr. Ajibola, said the digitally-controlled ventilator “employs humidifier, compressed air, oxygen inlet and electro-pneumatic valves for its operation,” adding  “This design is fully automated.”

Concerning the mechanical, he said the bag valve mask popularly known as the Ambu-bag is used for emergency manual ventilation or resuscitation.