Makerere University has developed new technology to produce fast and more accurate temperature measurements in the continued fight against the deadly coronavirus that has left at least 29 Ugandans dead and more than 2000 sick.
According to Prof. Noble Banadda, the head of the Department of Agricultural and Bio Systems Engineering at Makerere University and Principal Investigator in the new-cutting edge innovations the thermal imaging equipment will be used to detect temperature faster than the temperature guns commonly used across the country. “ The equipment will also be more accurate because it simultaneously measures a human being’s temperature levels as captured through the throat, mouth , nose and forehead ,” Prof. Banadda stated .
Prof. Banadda ,the principal investigator of the 3D printing technology programme tasked with manufacturing a wide range of components, said the technology would be useful for places with mass gatherings. The 3D printing technology at Makerere university the first of the kind in Uganda has also been used to transform the low cost Bulamu Medical Ventilators being championed by Dr. Vincent Ssembatya and produced by Kiira Motors Corporation.
Prof. Banadda noted that the university is working to integrate cough in the new systems to detect people who are suffering from Covid-19. He said that the codes to produce the bio-degradable masks and components for the Kiira Motor’s Bulamu ventilators were written by students and staff at Makerere university- a very sophisticated and advanced innovation .
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University’s Vice-Chancellor said the institution has the capacity to produce any technology as long as it is funded adequately.
He said that he had met with the First Lady and Minister of Education , Mrs. Janet Museveni to fast-track the commercialization of the many innovations that are coming out of Uganda . “ There is no need to import low cost medical ventilators if we can get them from Kiira Motors once all the approval protocols have been finalized- same with the bio-degradable face-masks/guards produced by Makerere through 3D printing technology,” Nawangwe said. The Vice Chancellor said that the University was now on the right track and told the academic staff to stop the habit of pulling each other’s innovations down and instead work together to make Makerere the leading university in Africa when it comes to science , research and innovation. “There is now no room for politicking . We should collaborate to help young business mature through incubation and create jobs in the manufacturing sector.”
Lt. Gen Angina the Deputy Commander of Operation wealth Creation -who was the guest of honour was happy to note that the Giant Makerere university which was “sleeping” is now making great strides to provide practical solutions to the countries challenges as the leading institution of higher learning .
He said the army will continue to work with Makerere to produce cutting edge technologies and innovations to modernize the UPDF including the provision of goggles for night army operations
Makerere University is providing leadership to the low cost Bulamu medical ventilators -innovation project through the Resilient Africa Network (RAN), the organisation’s Director of Communication. Ms., Harriet Adongo said. The medical ventilators being championed by Dr. Vincent Ssembatya and produced by Kiira Motors have benefited from the 3D printing under the leadership of Prof. Banada , Ms. Adongo explained . (see www.ranlab.org)