Innovation the buzzword | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:02 AM, June 17, 2019

Innovation the buzzword

Final round of nationwide skills competition held at BICC

Why is the cost of artificial respiration device so high in the country? What will happen to a patient if the oxygen cylinder becomes empty and there is no replacement?

Rumanta Hossain Mou, a student of Rajshahi Mohila Polytechnic Institute, and her classmates may have the answer to that. They have built a device, “Artificial Lungs”, which does not require any oxygen cylinder as it collects oxygen from environment.

With an aim to help the underprivileged avail artificial respiration services at a lower cost, Rumanta and her teammates -- Naima Akter Akhi and Bipasha Khatun -- demonstrated the device at a science festival titled “STEP Skills Competition 2018” yesterday.

The education ministry, in association with the World Bank and Canada, organised the event at Bangabandhu International Conference Center.

Rumanta, at the event, said compared to conventional devices, theirs is much cheaper to build, more portable [can be carried inside a briefcase] and easier to repair.

“Ventilation machines that are used in the country are imported, with a price tag of Tk 7-10 lakh each. But our device will cost Tk 40,000-50,000 only,” she added.

“At present, our device can be used during emergencies and when there is a delay in replacing oxygen cylinders. But it can also be used like the conventional machines, if we get an opportunity to move forward with this project,” she said.

Asked about the ventilator’s practical usage, Ahsan Habib, a teacher of the polytechnic institute, who guided the team, told this newspaper that they demonstrated the device to some doctors and they appreciated the initiative.

As the device is a prototype, some laboratory tests and experiments are necessary in this regard, he said, adding that they are confident about its usability in real life.

At yesterday’s science festival, students of public and private polytechnic institutes participated and showcased their innovations under a total of 52 projects. Of those, three best innovations were awarded.

At first, the competition was held at institution level and then the final projects were selected through several regional events.

Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury handed over the awards at the closing ceremony of the festival, inaugurated by Education Minister Dipu Moni.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said youths have to be innovative and embrace the challenge of an ever-changing world.

Nazmus Sakib, a student of Aeronautical Institute of Bangladesh, said, “We need these kind of platforms to prove ourselves. But it can be also frustrating, if our ideas are not implemented.”

Mohammad Alamgir, secretary to the Election Commission; Rawnak Mahmud, director general at the Directorate of Technical Education; and ABM Azad, director of STEP (Skills and Training Enhancement Project), also spoke at the event.

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