The Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University has asked the government for 1 billion to assist the university in mass production of the Bulamu ventilator in order to meet the increasing demand for ventilators across the country according to an article by The Observer.
Makerere University in partnership with Kiira Motors in June showcased the ” Bulaamu ventilator ” a locally made ventilator that would assist patients (Covid-19) in the breathing process in times of lung malfunctioning. A ventilator simply acts as a spare lung that enables patients to breathe (takes in oxygen and takes out used air/carbon-dioxide) when their lungs are filled with fluid a common symptom among Covid-19 patients wild non-mild conditions.
As per 5th, January,2021, Uganda is has registered 36,407 cases of Covid-19 out of 762,862 tests. 12,387 of the cases have managed to recover whereas 290 people have succumbed to the pandemic.
Results of COVID-19 tests done on 04 January 2021 confirm 357 new cases. The cumulative confirmed cases are 36,407.— Ministry of Health- Uganda (@MinofHealthUG) January 5, 2021
🔺 16 COVID-19 deaths reported btn 15 December 2020 and to-date have been investigated and confirmed.
The deaths are reported from various parts of the country pic.twitter.com/ouTv9YlPHJ
With these increasing cases of the Covid-19 in the country, the demand for the ventilators in health centers has gone up and the university chancellor believes this would be the best opportunity for the Ugandan government to invest in the innovation to enable them to produce and meet the high demand. He however says the Ministry has ignored the Bulamu ventilator innovation ever since its launch in June at Makerere University at an event that was attended by the Minister of Health Ruth Acheng.
He adds that the ministry has further gone ahead to procure ventilators import ventilators that cost the government 5 times in comparison to the Bulamu Ventilator.
Vincent Sembatya, the brainchild of Bulaamu and the director of Quality Assurance at Makerere University recently told The Observer while ventilators on the world market cost between $30,000 (Shs 109m) and $45,000 (Shs 164m) Bulamu will cost $3,000 (about Shs 10 million) only.
Concerns on the Bulamu Ventilator Standards
To address the issues on whether these locally made ventilators met the required standards, the Bulaamu ventilator was subjected had to a series of endurance and stress tests before seeking approval to proceed with randomized human trials from the National Drug Authority and the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology.