It appears a lot more Ghanaians are giving meaning to the adage ‘Necessity is the mother of inventions’ during this COVID-19 pandemic.
From the manufacturing of the ‘Solar Wash’ to facilitate hand-washing and attempts to produce ventilators, a Physics teacher at the Kumasi High School in the Ashanti region has designed what he calls a Disinfection Chamber that cleanses the entire body including shirts.
32-year- old Samuel Olatunde Quarm graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a first-class in Physics in 2015.
He is now a physics teacher at the Kumasi High School.
Samuel says he has been working on a number of inventions but during the period of the partial lockdown, he decided to develop a device to help curtail the spread of COVID-19, which he calls Quarm Disinfection Chamber.
He says it uses accepted standards of disinfectants that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The device has been designed to either use electricity or solar.
Instead of using hand sanitizers and the hand-washing model which have been recommended by health experts in preventing the spread of the disease, the inventor of the Quarm Disinfection Chamber believes his product is an upgrade since it disinfects the hands and parts the body including shirts within three seconds.
The inventor believes the product, yet to go through certification by the Ghana Standards Authority, offers better protection against the disease than hand-washing.
“There is a possibility that the virus can come to our skin, our clothes and other parts of our body. No matter how many times you wash your hands, you could easily infect yourself by touching other parts of your body-picking your phone from your pocket, putting your hand in your pocket or other things. So I thought it wise that if there is a way of sanitizing the entire body, it would be helpful.
“That is why I came out with the Quarm Disinfection Chamber. The Quarm Disinfection Chamber operates in such a way that when you enter, it senses you and starts dispensing the disinfectants on your body. So you stay in and it comes out of two directions in a cone form of 70 degrees. So you have to turn around to sanitize the other parts and in order to get under your arms and other parts sanitizing, you just raise your hands and turn your body 360 degrees and all your body would be sanitized in less than three seconds”.
Following the lifting of the partial lockdown, Samuel believes the device could be used at all public places to disinfect all persons.
He says even after COVID-19, the product can be used at various health facilities especially at infectious disease units to disinfect health workers after entering or treating an infectious person.
“So within this COVID-19 period, this would be useful at the markets, other social places- mosques, churches, banks, hospitals among others to disinfect anybody who goes there and comes out. After COVID-19, it is still applicable at hospitals, intensive care units, infectious units where the health worker needs to be disinfected after entering or treating a particular patient with infectious diseases. Also, people working in hazardous areas can use this to disinfect themselves when they come out of those areas”.
Samuel Quarm says he is looking forward to getting the Ghana Standards Authority to certify the product.
He also wants government and other groups to partner and support him with funding to scale up operations.
“Currently, I am looking at getting the Ghana Standards Authority on board for standardization and certification. I am also appealing to government and corporate organizations and world bodies to come and help so that in this time, we can help curb the spread of the coronavirus”.
Authorities at the Ghana Standards Authority say they are beginning processes to ensure that the product goes through all necessary procedures for certification to take place.
Dr. Samuel Kofi Frimpong, the Ashanti regional head of the Ghana Standards Authority said: “We are in talks with the laboratory personnel and we are working together to see how we can help him. I have also given him tips on how he will need support or something. It is a collaboration. We are under the Ministry of Trade and we work with other agencies. We have the national board for small scale industries. So I have given him those things that he should follow that we should go through the Ministry of Trade and together, we can help him to bring this product on the market”.