MAKERERE UNIVERSITY UNVEILS THERMAL IMAGING BIO DEGRADABLE MASKS AND 3D PRINTING THAT HAS TRANSFORMED BULAMU VENTILATORS TO FIGHT COVID-19

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)

MOSES SSERWANGA

Writer is a media and communications consultant And Advocate of the High Court of Uganda

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