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Speeches

Prof. G.O. Ezekwe, FAS, Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Lagos, Nigeria 19th May 1995

In his address to Nigerian Scientists in 1988, the President, Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR, put before the nation the urgent task for the pursuit of technological self-reliance in these words:- “We have been in the doldrums for too long. Now is the time to reach out to the world. Now is the time to show that we too have scientists that can make life worth living. We can no longer sit without making any positive moves and have technology discovered and delivered to us. It is our dedication and conviction in ourselves that will earn us the technology we require to move ahead”.

 

The above statement contains the concept and motivation required for indigenous and sustainable technological competence is only reliably achieved by a people’s own effort. No country has achieved real economic progress by total dependence on other countries for its technological needs. Technology transfer does not work and will not succeed in entrenching enduring technological capability in the nation. A policy of technology acquisition and adaptation is what is required and is indicated by commonsense, because the world is replete with technologies which have been proven over a long time; and which are available for adoption by any people who are prepared to undergo the discipline of acquiring theoretical and practical competence in the use of such technology.

The National Agency for Science and Engineering infrastructure was established in 1992 by Decree 33 of that year; the main objective being the establishment of a science and engineering infrastructure which pre-requisite for indigenous and sustainable science and technology development. The Agency strives to implement the national science and engineering development program which will in turn ensure the availability of the required technically trained manpower, the basic workshop machinery, engineering raw materials, engineering accessories, and utilities required for indigenisaton of science and technology in Nigeria.

 

The development of the EAT-SET is a commendable achievement in technology adaptation and clearly points the way we should go. The advantages of this device include its structural simplicity, low cost and efficiency. I wish to congratulate the innovator Lt.col. (DR.)O.O Ovadje and Mr. Claude Fell for a job well done.

Prof. G.O. Ezekwe, FAS,
Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Lagos Nigeria


19th May 1995

Dr. Babashola Chinsman, Resident Representative, United Nations Development Program

The equipment will enable doctors to intervene promptly in situations demanding urgent blood transfusion to patient from internal bleeding. This method of blood transfusion, we perceive will help to eliminate fear of acquiring AIDS and other blood borne infection since a patient would receive his/her own blood. In addition, the device will reduce maternal death resulting in from blood less in ectopic pregnancy. We are pleased to be assisting as the funding agency of this project, which is being executed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

At this juncture, it is however appropriate to mention that Nigeria’s scale and diversity requires UNDP’s intervention to be strategic in their targeting and suitably diverse so that the greatest capacity building effect can be hard in achieving a long run impact. UNDP recognizes that this catalytic effect will be greatest if program and project designs are highly specific with respect to identifying and serving its target group taking into account the Global concern of UNDP which include poverty alleviation and participatory approaches to sustainable human development; environment and natural resources management; women in development; technical co-operation among developing countries;

management of the developing process; transfer and adaptation of technology. It is in this context therefore that the 4th UNDP Country program for Nigeria (1992-96) has been prepared in ten sectors and is being implemented in nine of them. It is a five year framework that reflects the views of the Federal Government of Nigeria regarding how best to utilize UNDP assistance for the achievement of the priority national development objectives.

UNDP is proud of the achievement of EAT-SET which is an appropriate technology which is very remarkable particularly during this period of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations

Dr. Babashola Chinsman

Resident Representative

United Nations Development Program

Dr. WILLIAMS ALDIS, MD - WHO Representative for Nigeria

The subject of blood borne diseases and the safety of blood transfusion is a joint concern of both developed and developing countries.

The blood safety unit of the World Health Organisation was established to assist the member states to ensure that all individuals have access to blood and blood products that are s safe as possible.

In order to fulfil this mission, seven specific objectives have been identified by the unit as will be discussed in the seminar, which also

recognises appropriate use of blood and blood products as one of the means of minimising unnecessary blood transfusion and its attendant risks.

The development of the EAT-SET device is seen as one of the programmes of appropriate operational research designed to improve blood safety.

Dr. W. ALDIS, MD

WHO Representative for Nigeria

The Chief of General Staff, The Presidency - Federal Republic of Nigeria

The Federal Government has realized the health danger of blood transfusion to which the general public is exposed and directed the Federal Ministry of Health to commission several studies and committees towards the establishment of National Blood Transfusion Service and the provision of safe blood.

One of such studies recommended to the United Nation Development Program was the pilot study on the Emergency Auto-Transfusion Device – The EAT-SET designed for developing countries to save the lives of those who suffer from attacks of internal bleeding.

The idea was received initially with a mixture of excitement and sceptism as is always the case with all innovations. Government is however aware that not all research prove positive and hence committed a risk fund from its UNDP support.

Government is therefore grateful to the United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization for their assistance and look forward to further collaborative effort in product development in Nigeria

Dr. I.C. Madubuike -Hon. Minister of Health

The present danger facing man as a result of blood transfusion as resulted in a rethinking and a change of attitude towards the practice of blood transfusion with a preference towards the se of autologous blood, which is the use of the patient’s own blood during surgery. It is a truism that the patient’s blood is the safest blood.

 

The need to adapt local available resources to produce devices that are relevant to our needs cannot therefore be very emphasised. The Federal Ministry of Health is doing all in its power to encourage local initiatives among medical personnel in the country having recognised the need to develop those aspects of our health care technology that are relevant to our climate of medical technology. This has greatly influenced the ministry’s support for the EATSET project. The level of local production of drugs has also increased as many pharmaceuticals have been discouraged from being mere importers of drugs, playing the role of medical representatives to their foreign partners   and so are mere packaging and distributive factories

There is therefore an urgent need to integrate medicine with engineering and the analytical sciences in order to provide some outfit within the medical industry that can bridge the gap between equipment users and manufacturers. Such an outfit will also keep records of hazards that are encountered in the use of medical devices throughout the country and also seek to adapt foreign technologies to suit our mental and environmental conditions as exemplified in the design and production of the EATSET- Emergency Autologous Blood Transfusion Device which is a low cost and appropriate technology relevant to our needs. I understand that the equipment can be produced without involving the establishment of complex industrial machinery.

Dr. I.C. Madubuike

Hon. Minister of Health

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