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Local college student helps build ventilators for Ghana

A Local college student helps build ventilators for Ghana. Fred McBagonluri is an engineer, inventor, educator, and provost and president at Academic City College in Ghana, and is now working to save lives by building low-cost ventilators.

In Ghana, there are 29 million people, but only 67 ventilators.

“For me, that was insane. I was like 67? The US has 200,000,” said Asher Williamson.

Williamson, from West Chester, is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Dayton. He says he read about McBagonluri, a UD graduate, in the student paper.

With everyday materials like leather, plastic pipe, wood, and vehicle parts, McBagonluri has built two ventilator prototypes. To produce, they cost about $172 and can be put together in less than a half hour.

“Two battery packs here. Excellent backup for six hours. The charge controller is in action now. We should have this in every ambulance that moves around,” said McBagonluri in a video he sent to Local 12.

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On average, ventilators can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $50,000.

“He’s got a mission. He’s got a mindset and the knowledge to do this,” said Williamson, “What can I do to help him make that come true? Make it a reality and make ventilators. So I actually called him two days later.”

Now, Williamson is fundraising to help pay for a variety of sensors for the prototypes. Once they have them, the ventilator will be ready for Ghanian FDA review and testing. So far, Williamson has raised nearly $2,000.

“To me, it was a no-brainer. I need to figure out a way to help people, and this is a way I can help someone and still learn how to build a ventilator,” said Williamson, “Right now, everyone should be doing what they can for the coronavirus. I think if you’re not trying to do something, or do your little part, it makes it a whole lot harder.”

Source: Local 12 news