Prototyping the OVSI Oxygen Concentrator in Ethiopia

August 5, 2022

Great things happen when a good team comes together. After working 3500 miles apart for so long, the OVSI oxygen concentrator engineering teams from the UK and Ethiopia finally had the opportunity to work together physically, and the results were really encouraging.

In March Lara Allen from the Centre for Global Equality (CGE) and Ben Moore from Cambridge Precision Ltd visited the Bahir Dar Institute of Technology (BiT). Ben spent ten days working at the Seifu BiT Maker Space on the oxygen concentrator with the BiT team - Yohannes Tamiru, Fasil Tariku and Yibeltal Liulekal. Ben graduated from the Institute of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, last year, and now works on the oxygen concentrator at Cambridge Precision, OVSI’s main industry partner.

The combined international engineering team evolved the prototype design, and explored potential connections with manufacturing companies in Bahir Dar and Addis Ababa. They also visited health centres in Bahir Dar to understand how oxygen concentrators are presently used. On request from health centre clinicians and technicians, the team also gave a workshop at the health centre on repair and maintenance of existing devices.

This prototyping and partnership building visit to Ethiopia was funded by the University of Cambridge EPSRC International Partnerships Fund under the auspices of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB).