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Unilag Activities In Response To The Covid-19 Pandemic

By Salauden Tajudeen
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To help #FlattenTheCurve of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Lagos has embarked on several activities from the confirmation of the first case till date. Some of these activities are as enumeratedbelow:

The Centre for Excellence in Haemorrhagic and Viral Diseases, College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL),confirmed the first COVID-19 case in Nigeria. This was done under theleadership of Professor Sunday Omilabu and Dr.MuyiwaSalu (Medical Microbiology & Parasitology). Presently, the laboratory in conjunction with Lagos University Teaching Hospital,runs about 300 samples daily and is one of 4 laboratories in Lagos and 14 in the country accredited for laboratory diagnosis of the virus.

These sensitisation videos and images were facilitated and disseminated by the University of Lagos Television (UNILAG TV), Communication Unit, Medical Centre, University of Lagos and other exceptional members of staff of the University. Click the following URLs to access the videos:

Longbefore the stay-at-home and lockdown directives were issued by both the federal and state governments, the University has been sensitising the public across all it media platforms, of preventive tips to avoidthe spread of theCOVID-19 and is still continuing in this duty by creating sensitisation infomercials in various languages such as:Yorùbá, Igbo, Hausa and Pidgin English.

https://youtu.be/XHRwFGDptuc

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/university-of-lagos_unilagnigeria-covid19-preventionisbetterthancure-activity-6645253832152616960-vkoJ

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9ybg33FIl0/?igshid=1iyvritlh86c

ImportantCOVID-19 Announcement in English Language:https://youtu.be/_SXDN74aqAU

Important COVID-19 Announcement inYorùbá Language:https://youtu.be/lQgpuzB9DUQ

Important COVID-19 Announcement inIgbo Language: https://youtu.be/iTNt1pDgGUI

Important COVID-19 Announcement in Hausa Language:https://youtu.be/1HAODE6UXSY

Important COVID-19 Announcement in Pidgin English:https://youtu.be/BqZcm-1FWVY

In our determination to take action towards preserving our nation and its people, amulti-disciplinary research team, drawn from different departments in the University recently produced a low-cost Ambubagventilator which has been tested and patented as UNILAG/LASRIC-AmbuVent. The ventilator was named thus to emphasis the partnership between the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Lagos State Science, Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC).

The medical practise has a great demand for this machine in this COVID-19 pandemic, as well as pre and post COVID-19. Further to this, the University of Lagos wanted to create a product that will not only play an important role in flattening the COVID-19 curve but remain relevant long after the pandemic has been vanquished. The aim therefore, was to produce an easily deplorable ventilator that can cater to the increasing need for the life support machine while maintaining the specifications laid out by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

We believe theUNILAG/LASRIC-AmbuVent will play a significant role in reducing the mortality rate of COVID-19 in Nigeria at a low cost.

Members of staff who participated in the projects are from the Departments of Anaesthesia, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics and Metallurgical & Materials Engineering. The team was led by Dr. Hakeem Amuda, an Associate Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and Deputy Director (Innovation) in the University of Lagos Research and Innovation Office.

In a country with about 200 million population and less than 500 ventilators, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, poses a great threat to not only the economy of the state but the very existence of its people, culture and identity.

Due to the alarming increase in the demand for health workers during these trying times, members of staff of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), joined forces with their colleagues in the Infectious Disease Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)to actively help in the training of health workers and treatment of COVID19-positive cases.

As one of the essential hygienic requirements to protect individuals from this pandemic is to regularly apply alcohol-based hand sanitisers, members of staff of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagosproduced and donatedpacks of hand sanitisersto the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Please click the URL for details https://unilag.edu.ng/?p=6478

In the same light, the Department of Chemistry, University of Lagos, has produced about 100 litres of high-grade COVID-19 Intervention Hand Sanitisers, which was shared free of charge to the University's immediate environment. Please click the URL for details https://unilag.edu.ng/?p=6547

Similarly, Home Economics, a cohort under the Department of Science and Technology, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, also produced and donated re-usable fabric face masks to Management for the University's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This was subsequently distributed to both internal and external communities of the University.

The Centre for Information,Technology and Systems (CITS), University of Lagos (UNILAG) powered a Covid-19 Visualizerthat allows people to check real-time statistics of COVID-19 cases across all the states in Nigeria. Click http://covid19.unilag.edu.ng/to use it.

Our members of staff at CMUL have been in the forefront of the public health response and they also monitor the COVID-19 trends and plot daily charts which can be found on the University website.

Click the following URL to check out the COVID-19 bot of Microsoft Tech Community UNILAG http://covid19.mspunilag.com/

Microsoft Student Partners of UNILAG created a bot that tells you your chances of having the COVID-19based on your answer to carefully selectedquestions. It also gives precautionary tips to help individuals prevent the spread of the virus.

Staff and students of the Department of Computer Science, University of Lagos made it to the top 40 out of 200 great entries from around the world in the Code The Curve competition to solve COVID-19 problems. Theirs was a unique submission as it addresses health issues beyond the present COVID-19 pandemic and can be utilised continuously in the future. They progressed to the second stage of the competition and represented Nigeria diligently.

As it is expected, one of the greatest challenges during a pandemic is the stress and mental trauma that ensues. Our members of staff at CMUL have been instrumental in catering to individuals dealing with thestress and mental trauma associated with positive COVID-19 diagnosis. This they have done in the hospitaland community care of COVID-19 patients, as well as a part of the Lagos State Response Team.

Ultimately, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) is committed to continue devising newer, safer and more cost-effective means of stoppingCOVID-19 in Nigeria and the world at large. Further to this the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS, has charged members of staff of the University to deepen their research and drive for innovation in areas relevant to the immediate need of the nation.

Students of the University under the Professor Ogundipe Innovative Challenge (POIC) also launched a Stay-At-Home awareness campaign which augmented the efforts of the various state governments particularly that of Lagos State. The campaign involved individuals uploading their pictures in a graphic design that depicts they would do their part to flatten the curve by staying at home and maintaining healthy hygiene.