Bangladeshi electronics giant Walton has taken up initiatives to manufacture medical equipment including ventilators to fight COVID-19 outbreak. They have developed functional prototypes of three models of ventilators which have been handed over to the ICT division for clinical trials. ICT division will send those equipment to Directorate General of Health Services for clinical test.
Earlier, Walton started manufacturing protective equipment including face shields and safety goggles for the first time in the country to ensure safety of doctors and healthcare workers during this pandemic. In addition, Walton’s factory is fully engaged in manufacturing medical equipment such as PAPR (Power Air Purifier Respirator), UV Disinfectant, Respiratory Mask.
On Tuesday (April 28, 2020), Walton handed over the ventilators to government’s ICT division for clinical trials. State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak was present as chief guest at the online ventilator handover program along with NM Zeaul Alam, senior secretary of the ICT division and high-ups from Walton and Medtronic.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak thanked Medtronic and Omar Ishrak, chairman of the board of Intel and head of Medtronic, alone with Walton for coming up with ventilator production in Bangladesh. He said, DGHS will decide where they will test these ventilators and for how long they will be tested. Walton will go for trial production after DGHG approved them.
Engineer Golam Morshed, chief of Walton’s ventilator project, said one of the functional prototypes of these three models of ventilators was developed in association with Medtronic. Two others are Walton’s own inventions. Walton developed functional prototypes of these two models of ventilators using its own research and development capabilities inspired by the ICT division.
He said that the PB 560 model of ventilator designed by the world famous medical equipment manufacturer Medtronic has been named as ‘WPB 560’. Medtronic is also supplying FDA certified parts. The ‘Made in Bangladesh’ tagged ventilator is set to be added in the Walton factory. Walton will be able to start production of the ‘WPB 560’, subject to clinical trial approval and the availability of the customized parts from Medtronic.
Meanwhile, Walton developed functional prototypes of two more models of ventilators considering the urgent needs. Walton’s skilled and talented R&D team, consisting of engineers from home and abroad, invented these ventilators through relentless research. Functional prototypes of these two models of ventilators have been made with domestic raw materials and Walton’s own sourced components. Engineer Malek Shikder, Head of Electronics, Engineer Tofayel Ahmed, Head of Mechanical, Engineer Tahasinul Haque, Head of Quality Control and Engineer Anisur Rahman Mollick, Head of Service worked for the development of the prototypes.
Meanwhile, Engineer Tawfiq-ul-Quader, deputy head of ventilator project, said that one of the two models of ventilators invented by Walton has been named as ‘Walton Covid Ventilator 2020’ or ‘WCV-20’. The other is called ‘WAB-20’. The WCV-20 model ventilator has two important modes out of the three modes of the ‘PB560’ model, namely Assisted Control Mode and Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (SIMV) Mode. It is possible to control the oxygen ratio as required in the ‘WAB-20’ model ventilator made using Ambu bag. Walton plans to go into trial production based on the results and approval of clinical tests.
Project advisor Engr Liakat Ali Bhuiyan thanked the concerned including the State Minister for ICT division, BUET’s biomedical engineering team, LICT for assistance. He specially thanked Brigadier General Waliur Rahman Chowdhury as he gave the PB560 model ventilator to Walton for research.
Sources said, there is a huge demand for ventilators across the world. This is promising that functional prototypes of high-tech medical equipment like ventilators have been developed and sent for clinical trials within short time. The authorities concerned are expecting Bangladesh will also be self-sufficient in this sector as well with there is a huge opportunity for export.