Three Nigerian engineering firms and other professionals with different specialities have teamed up to manufacture ventilators, the medical equipment that helps breathing, especially in emergencies.

Seeing the need for the ventilators to save lives, the three indigenous companies – Lange and Grant involved in production of insulated panels for organisations;  Mul-t-lock Nigeria Limited, an electronic and computerised firm involved in robotic machines; Transilient Technologies Limited, involved in energy saving, and Longe Paul, an anaesthetic doctor, came together to produce the equipment that is under test-run.

One of the clinical tests of the equipment was performed Sunday, April 5, at Mariamville Hospital, Bode Thomas Lagos, with doctors and the manufacturers putting heads together to perfect the equipment for use.

The innovation is coming at a crucial time when ventilators are required globally to tackle emergencies, especially the coronavirus pandemic ravaging various countries.

It is said Nigeria currently has less than 400 ventilators against an estimated 40,000 units at about $10,000 per unit required by the authorities concerned to fight coronavirus pandemic, which is spreading, hitting 224 cases in Nigeria as at Sunday afternoon.

After the dummy tests with medical personnel, Tunde Okoya, CEO of Lange and Grant, said the team had noted the areas that needed perfection. “We are going to effect them and perfect the device for medical use after approval by other relevant authorities,” he told BusinessDay at the testing point.

Ekor Oluwayemisi, an anaesthetic doctor at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), who was present at the equipment trial, commended the efforts of the Nigerians, saying, “It is a good development and I am happy Nigerians are looking inwards to produce such equipment at this time. We really need to continue to look inwards”.

She agreed that the equipment needed a lot of improvement, but was a positive step forward, as “the trial is significant before it is commercially produced”.

The indigenous manufacture of Covid-19 test kits could also be significant as there are allegations that some Chinese companies are selling defective test kits.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the accuracy of some imported kits in various countries is around 30-40 percent when it should be about 80-90 percent.

In a report by AsiaNews, more and more countries are reporting defective made-in-China quick coronavirus test kits, especially the ventilators. For instance, it reported that Philippine authorities complained that only 40 percent of the 100,000 test kits from Chinese companies were accurate.

It was said that Spain reported that over 640,000 Covid-19 testing kits from China don’t work; Czech – 150,000 kits from China are defective; Ukraine: 250,000 kits from China defective, while Netherlands was said to have recalled 600,000 mask from China.

The defective imported Covid-19 materials have therefore pushed some countries’ professionals to look inwards.

Nigerian government with great assistance from the private sector is making efforts to contain the pandemic in Nigeria, but some of these efforts may be hampered on lack of equipment to fight the pandemic.

The stay-at-home order is also flouted in some areas as some Nigerians still socialise believing that the virus is far from them.


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