The Academic City University College on Monday held a medical technology fair to provide updates to stakeholders on the progress of a local ventilator developed by the school.
The development of the ventilator is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
The fair, which was attended by medical device manufacturers, researchers, academia, students, health practitioners, policymakers, health service providers, regulators, and vendors, was supported by iSTEAM Academy Limited and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
It was on the theme “Building Local Capacity in Medical Technology,” and provided a platform for the exhibition of products and services offered by the healthcare industry while highlighting Ghana’s innovation in medical technology.
Prof. Fred McBagonluri, Founding President of Academic City University College and Co-Founder of iSTEAM, said ventilators became an essential commodity when the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the world.
“Ventilators became an essential commodity that saved many lives. Unfortunately, Ghana did not have enough of these lifesavers because, while some were available, they were prohibitively expensive,” he said.
Prof McBagonluri said the situation necessitated him to collaborate with GIZ and to secure funding to develop a low-cost ventilator in Ghana.
“The plan was for Ghana and Africa to develop their own version of low-cost ventilators tailored to its terrain, using off-the-shelf and locally available material under a project dubbed Locovent4Africa,” he said.
The project, he said, aims to develop, manufacture, and distribute low-cost ventilators using locally available and off-the-shelf materials in developing countries to assist healthcare professionals in treating patients suffering from acute respiratory diseases because of COVID-19, as well as other respiratory infections.
Prof McBagonluri said iSTEAM, an innovative STEAM-based education enterprise undertook the task to establish local production capabilities for the low-cost, locally adaptive, and non-invasive medical ventilator to serve, treat and save patients’ lives.
Stakeholders who attended the fair stressed the need to scale up local inventions to meet the healthcare needs of the public.