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24.04.2020 General News

Govt Will Engage KNUST Over The Production Of A Ventilator — Info Minister

Govt Will Engage KNUST Over The Production Of A Ventilator — Info Minister
LISTEN APR 24, 2020

The Minister in a tweet on Thursday said Government would engage the Management of KNUST in the coming days to get the necessary approvals to procure and use some of the devices when the need arises.

COVID-19 patients are placed on ventilators, when they are in critical condition and needed oxygen urgently to survive.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah in a tweet said, “It's exciting to note that researchers @KNUSTGH have announced the local production of a local ventilator. In the coming days, we will have to engage and get the necessary approvals to procure and use some if need be. Well done guys."

The Minister's comments come days after the College of Engineering (CoE), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) held a demonstration exercise to explain the working operation of the home-made prototype ventilator.

The medical equipment, which is in the advanced stages of development, is a collaborative work between the College's Computer Engineering Department and Michigan Technological University.

“The purpose of the demonstration exercise is to outdoor to stakeholders what the University is doing from its own perspective to augment access to quality healthcare delivery.

“We think this home-made ventilator could be of utmost importance to patients with breathing deficiencies and disorders if the project is taken up for further development, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah, Provost of the College, said.

In an interview with the GNA at the demonstration exercise, the Provost said less expensive materials and technology were used in building the portable ventilator.

Prof. Adom-Asamoah hinted that the collaborative work commenced three years ago, saying the intention was to use the ingenuity of student engineers and faculty members to address the inadequacy of ventilators.

Mr Eric Sackey Mensah, in-charge of the Regional Clinical Engineering Unit, GHS, said the authorities were happy that the CoE responded to the needs of people with innovative automated home-made Ventilator.

He said they would be working with the University to complete the project, and see how it could be produced on a larger scale to serve the interest of health facilities in the country.

Prof. Kwame Osei Boateng, who is heading the KNUST side on the project, said the CoE estimated that the cost of the finished 'KNUST Ventilator' would go for about GH¢30,000 on the market.

---GNA

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