One of the biggest challenges that coronavirus patients face is the difficulty in breathing due to the congestion in the lungs.
To ease this difficulty and help coronavirus sufferers recover easily, a machine known as the ventilator is used to help the patient breathe easily and make recovery easier.
However, the problem with this machine is its high cost and unavailability at the moment. Before the coronavirus pandemic, a single ventilator used to cost between $20,000 and $22,000. Now, because of the high demands by governments all over the world, a ventilator now costs between $50,000 and $55,000 more than double its original price. This puts a lot of financial pressure on governments and healthcare facilities.
To get enough ventilators to help in the fight against COVID-19 would mean spending a huge amount of money. Already, Ghana has less than 10 ventilators. But if what is happening in other countries is anything to go by, then one can hazard a guess that Ghana would need not less than 1,000 ventilators. And that would be a huge amount that the government would find it difficult to secure.
But even if government manages to mobilise that amount of money, the other hurdle is the unavailability of the ventilators. Thus the two problems of cost and availability must be surmounted.
It is in this regard that the decision of a Ghanaian engineer, Professor Fred McBagonluri, to build low-cost ventilators is a great relief to many.
Previously the founding Dean at the Faculty of Engineering at Ashesi University College, Professor Fred McBagonluri has assembled a team of ten innovators to work on the ventilator project. And the team is making a big progress.
According to Professor McBagonluri, his team has finished with the vent motor controller circuit. Describing the progress as good news, Prof McBagonluri took to Facebook to share the news with his followers and congratulate his team.
Professor, McBagonluri, who is currently the Provost and President at the Academic City College, recently solicited for support to secure an official government pass on his ventilator project.
When completed, the low-cost ventilators will be a game changer in the fight against COVID-19 in Ghana and across the globe.
Professor McBagonluri is a world acclaimed engineer, innovator, inventor, educator and author who comes with a very rich academic and engineering experience from home and abroad.