Nigerian military goes to war against COVID-19, produces ventilators, over 1500 dozens of hand sanitizer

The Nigerian military has also joined the war against COVID-19, not with fighter jets, warships, armoured personnel carriers (APC) nor other sophisticated war weapons, but with essential medical 'weapons' that have been inadequate in the fight against the deadly virus.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria presently has 665 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as at Monday April 21.

Individuals and corporate organisations have shown support for the government and health workers at the front line of the war against the virus and the military has now announced that it is joining the war.

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in a Twitter statement disclosed that its first move to support the fight is by addressing the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the country.

"The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) has taken the lead among others, to provide a local content driven response to address the shortage of PPE.," DHQ tweeted.

"DICON, under the visionary leadership and result oriented leadership of Maj. Gen. Victor Ezugwu, has mobilized its management and staff to research, develop, and produce several COVID-19 essential and life saving equipment."

The intervention, according to the Defence Headquarters was in response to directive by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin to the Armed Forces to articulate strategic intervention to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The life saving equipment produced by DICON include:

1. Hand sanitizers:

DICON is producing 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," DHQ said.

2. Digital Mechanical Ventilator: 

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 DHQ said 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 among others."

3. PPE kits:

DHQ said DICON is producing thousands of high quality non permeable Personal Protective Equipment kit. The kits, according to the DHQ are currently being produced in large quantities for use by Kaduna State Government and other national stakeholders.

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