Covid 19: Former NSE Apapa Chairman produces respiratory machines

Ibrahim Aledu explaining how the respirator works

A former chairman of NSE Apapa Branch, Engr Ibrahim Aledu, has produced a respiratory machine as part of his contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic in the country.

Aledu who is also a fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers and Nigerian Institution of mechanical Engineers fabricated a respiratory machine as a result of call for the engineers to rise up to the challenge and assist the country in the fight against the virus.

Aledu who is also the Apapa Inspectorate COREN’s Engineering Regulation and Monitoring (ERM), in video presentations online, demonstrated how the mechanical respiratory machine works.

The machine was made from wood, recycled and other locally-sourced materials which are powered by dry cell batteries and controlled by a pulley to pump out oxygen.

A pulley is a wheel with a grooved rim around with a cord passing through to help change the direction of a force applied to the cord.

It is usually used to raise heavy weights.

In the video presentations Aledu explained the different oxygen requirement levels for children and adults which the machine was able to regulate to suit each need.

He said that the device was a modification of existing technology to suit local purpose at an affordable rate.

“The mechanical respiratory machine is a modification, not an invention; when a technology already exists, it can be modified.

“Engineers were planning to donate money to the Federal Government but I felt it is better we produce something as a solution and donate. I used the period of the lockdown to work on it.

“A mechanical respirator costs about 300 dollars but an imported one is 30,000 dollars on the average. During this lockdown some of my colleagues encouraged me, and I began the design drawings.

“I searched my materials storage and saw that I had bearings and a few things I needed.

“I could not get some of the things at home; so, I had to go out to get other materials to assemble them,’’ he said.

Explaining the challenges he encountered, Aledu said that he had to abandon a faulty direct current adaptar he bought from an online store to improvise with motorcycle dry cell batteries to power the device.

“I have built in a mechanical governor that regulates the degree to which the air bag is pressed down to release oxygen through the valve to humans,’’ he explained?

Aledu said that the prototype cost him about N130,000.00 to produce, adding that he had the capacity to produce up to 50 machines daily from his works lab in Ijora.

It will be recalled that the Engineers under the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, NIMechE, through their online platform challenged members to respond to the pandemic through providing engineering solution. We are proud to say more engineers have started coming out with tested and workable prototypes fabricated at home and at cheaper cost.

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