The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a parastatal under the ministry of defence, has produced a ventilator known as DICOVENT and personal protective equipment to address the shortage of medical supplies in the country.
During a media briefing in Abuja, John Enenche, coordinator defence media operations, said other medical materials produced by DICON include hand sanitisers, face shields and nose masks.
Enenche said the newly designed low-cost machine is a simple mechanical ventilator which is capable of delivering positive pressured ventilation using volume-controlled ventilation (VCV) system.
He said the ventilator has undergone thorough scrutiny and assessment by specialists from top ranging hospitals and experts in the country.
“Additional to its primary responsibility to produce defence equipment, DICON has succeeded in diversifying its human, equipment, machinery as well as research and development capacity, to support a much-needed strategic intervention to cushion the effects of the highly dreaded COVID 19 in the country,” he said.
“First is the production of over 1500 dozens of DICSanz, a high-quality hand sanitizer produced under very strict environmental conditions, requested by the COAS Lt Gen TY Buratai for supply to troops of the Nigerian Army. This product is at the last stage of NAFDAC registration in line with extant due diligence provisions.
“Furthermore, DICON has responded to the directive by Honorable Minister of Defence Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd) for the Armed Forces to support the indigenous capacity of Nigeria, to support Medical workers by producing thousands of high quality non-permeable personal protective equipment kit.
“Each unit of these kits consists of standardized gowns, face shield and nose masks. They are currently being produced in large quantities for use by Kaduna state government and other national stakeholders.
“In addition to these, DICON engineers, consultants and medical teams have successfully produced a digital mechanical ventilator known as DICOVENT. The newly designed low-cost machine is a simple mechanical ventilator that can deliver positive pressured ventilation using a volume-controlled ventilation (VCV) system.
“The ventilator has undergone thorough scrutiny and assessment by specialists from top ranging hospitals and experts in the country including Cedar crest Hospital Abuja, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Kaduna amongst others.
But he said while DICOVENT may not be able to meet the high demands of critical patients, it can be used for continuous mandatory ventilation (CMV) and intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV).
He said: “It can also be used for invasive ventilation and non-invasive ventilation using an endotracheal tube and mask respectively.
“Let me at this juncture inform you that the efforts of DICON in producing these array of COVID 19 equipment has been assessed, commended and approved by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Health, Prof Osagie Ehanire and Permanent Secretary; General Service Office (GSO) Sir Olusegun Adekunle.
He asked the federal and state governments to patronise the local initiative of the armed forces.