News Investigators/ The department of Mechatronics of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, has manufactured a Ventilator and a Smart Hand Washer as part of efforts to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Rector of the institution, Kazeem Adebiyi, showcased the machines to journalists on Thursday in Ibadan.
Mr. Adebiyi, a professor, said the feat was achieved with the support of the government of Oyo State which released an accreditation grant for the institution.
“When we received the letter of accreditation that we passed all our programmes for accreditation, it was a joyful thing.
“It was an accreditation for thirteen programmes and we passed all the thirteen programmes.
“Also, we did three professional accreditation. Which we passed and that looked like magic to anybody; how are we able to achieve that?
“Well, once, we had the support of government; that is why we need to really appreciate the government.
“When we looked at the records, the last time the institution benefited from such a grant was in 2009.
“The Mechatronics department was able to come up with TPI Mechanical Ventilator 2020 and TPI Smart Hand Washer, which will automatically release soap, water and dry hand from the grants received.
“These, and other equipment acquired, have earned the department the opportunity to start its Higher National Diploma Programme (HND) as certified by the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE).
“We have been on this to secure approval for this programme for two years because we did not have the adequate equipment required and, now that we have, we got it.”
According to Adebiyi, the institution hopes to support government to combat COVID-19, hence the development of technology solutions.
“When the issue of pandemic started we put heads together that this is the citadel of technological innovation and then we should be seen as such.
“We started with the common needs and, you can see, this mask was produced here, then sanitizer and we went into producing this automated hand washing machine and then ventilator.
“The ventilator was tested at the University College Hospital (UCH) because we work with experts from UCH to get the ventilator.
“They were satisfied with its performance as it was tested with manique, which we don’t have but they have it there, and they certified the performance of the ventilator.”
The Rector enjoined other institutions to look inward and support government to provide equipment needed in the fight against coronavirus.
Mr. Adebiyi urged government to go for local solutions which are cheap and affordable, saying the ventilator was produced at a cost of N2million as against the market price of N20million.
On his part, the Head of department of Mechatronics, Kamorudeen Olaiya, an engineer who led the team of researchers that produced the machines, said it was a collective effort that eventually paid off.
“We can now admit students for the 2019/2020 academic session once schools are opened.
“The department was first established in 2010 but we got accredited in 2011.
“The team of lecturers, technologists and some of our students of the department fabricated these machines with the help of a consultant at UCH to help the fight against COVID-19,” Olaiya said.
NAN reports that the Rector of the institution, in company of other management staff, led journalists round some of the departments in the institution to showcase developments achieved with the grants.