NAF Unveils Emergency Ventilators, Appeals for Support

NAF Chief of Standards and Evaluation (COSE), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Remigius Ekeh, wwo represented the CAS, unveiling the ventilators on Wednesday




The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has unveiled two emergency ventilators produced by a Team of Researchers from the Air Force Research and Development Centre (AFRDC) and Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Kaduna, in partnership with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.

The emergency ventilators, tagged ‘NAF E-Vents’, were unveiled on Wednesday by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in Kaduna.

He said the development was in furtherance of the drive to provide indigenous solutions to tackle the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Before today’s unveiling ceremony, the prototype E-Vents had been subjected to successful animal testing using both canine and porcine test subjects. The tests were also necessary to validate the effectiveness of the ‘Assist Ventilation Mode’, where the ventilator detects a breath from a patient being treated and synchronizes the equipment with the patient’s breathing,” he said, adding, “the NAF E-Vents, which are intended for use when conventional invasive respiratory support resources have been exhausted, were found to deliver very satisfactory performance in air volume control and assist control modes and are now ready for human testing and further certification by relevant agencies.

The CAS, who was represented by the NAF Chief of Standards and Evaluation (COSE), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Remigius Ekeh, stated that the devastating effects of the COVID-19 require that ingenious and proactive steps be taken in order to protect lives and avert any form of national tragedy.

The CAS stated that in the quest to contribute towards self-reliance in the battle against COVID-19, a team, comprising NAF personnel and researchers from partner institutions, was convened to research into the production of the emergency ventilators. He noted that the team commenced work in early April 2020 and within 3 weeks had developed 2 prototypes.

He however emphasized that private sector investment would be required for mass production of the ventilators.

Earlier in his welcome address, the NAF Director of R&D, AVM Paul Jemitola, stated that the NAF had made giant strides in the area of R&D under the visionary leadership of the CAS to the extent that R&D had become the norm in the Service.

According to him, the culture of creativity engendered by the CAS is in line with his Vision of self-reliance and self-sustenance in defence and other aspects of national life, especially at a time like this when all hands are on deck to confront the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The highlight of the event was a presentation/demonstration of the NAF E-Vents by the Leader of the NAF R&D Team, Group Captain Osichinaka Ubadike, where he gave details of the development process as well as additional highlights of the animal testing conducted at ABU Zaria.

Present at the unveiling ceremony were the representative of the Vice Chancellor ABU, the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University, Professor Jacob Kwaga; the Commandant AFIT, AVM Abdulganiyu Olabisi, as well as Commanders of co-located NAF Units in Kaduna and other senior officials from ABU Zaria.