A team of scientists at the University of Aberdeen has developed a ventilator that will be used in Africa in the fight against Covid-19.
The university’s planetary sciences group has developed the low-cost ventilator as part of worldwide efforts to treat coronavirus.
The university has signed an agreement with Kigali-based Medical Technology Company (MTC) Ltd in Rwanda, which will assemble the atmospheric mixture optimisation ventilator (ATMO-Vent) for use in hospital settings in Rwanda and neighbouring countries.
Using its expertise in developing life-support systems for manned space missions, the team created the device using low-cost components that are widely available.
They said the ATMO-Vent is more cost-effective and user-friendly than any other model currently in development, and will allow for rapid deployment in hospitals.
Professor Javier Martin-Torres, who heads the planetary sciences group, said: “As a group we are very excited to see that the university has signed this agreement with MTC Ltd to develop the ATMO-Vent in Rwanda.
“We designed the ATMO-Vent in response to worldwide efforts to produce more ventilators for Covid-19 patients, using our experience in developing instruments for Earth and planetary exploration to build a device suited for rapid deployment in healthcare settings worldwide.
“We are delighted to see it begin to fulfil its intended purpose and my hope is that our research group can support the development of ATMO-Vent in Rwanda to a point where MTC Ltd can be completely independent in its production of the device.”
Professor Marion Campbell, vice principal for research, added: “This agreement came about through the active links between the School of Geosciences and the University of Rwanda, which underlines the importance of international scientific collaboration in meeting global challenges.
“Across multiple disciplines, our research community is working as part of a broad effort to harness our world-renowned academic expertise in the fight against Covid-19 and this is a prime example of how our researchers are applying their skills to meet the challenges created by the pandemic.”