Country's leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals Beximco Pharma has recently donated a number of negative pressure isolation canopies to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in order to contain the spread of Covid-19 from patients to healthcare workers in hospital.
The isolation canopy was developed by a multi-institutional team of researchers led by Professor Khondkar Siddique-e Rabbani, founding chairperson and now Honorary Professor of Biomedical Physics and Technology Department in DU, following clinical requirements suggested by a team led by Professor AKM Akhtaruzzaman, head of Anaesthesia, Analgesia and Intensive Care Medicine Department of BSMMU. Engineers of Asia Pacific University and of a non-profit manufacturing company named BiBEAT Ltd were also involved in the project.
"Covid-19 is highly contagious and patients pose a great risk to other patients as well as health workers including doctors and nurses in a hospital setting. The indigenously developed negative pressure isolation canopy will cover the patient on a hospital bed especially in ICU, and protect others from getting infected by creating a negative pressure environment inside the canopy." Professor Rabbani said.
This canopy uses an ultraviolet light (UVC) chamber which destroys all micro-organisms and viruses before the air is further disinfected and cleaned by a HEPA filter. Thus the locally developed canopy is better and more advanced than other similar devices currently available in many countries. The cost of the device is also significantly less compared to those made by foreign countries since the technology is homegrown.
BSMMU VC Prof Kanak Kanti Barua and DU VC Md Akhtaruzzaman provided logistic support and lauded the efforts taken by the researchers during this pandemic. Late Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, past VC of Asia Pacific University, also took special interest in this project.
Beximco Pharma managing director Nazmul Hassan MP commented, "Healthcare workers including doctors and nurses face tremendous challenges while treating Covid19 patients in hospitals. We are proud to be a part of this important initiative from our researchers which will play a critical role in protecting the frontline medical staff."
This research project was funded by Beximco Pharma and Sweden's Uppsala University and the first prototype of the isolation canopy was demonstrated at BSMMU in July, 2020. Later, four units were made by BiBEAT Ltd and delivered in October, 2020. Beximco provided full funding and logistics support to develop these isolation canopies for BSMMU.