Ugandan Female Wins African Award With IV Innovation

A Ugandan Female innovator, Philippa Ngaju Makobore (R) came second at the 2017 edition of Innovation Prize for Africa A Ugandan Female innovator, Philippa Ngaju Makobore (R) came second at the 2017 edition of Innovation Prize for Africa COURTESY PHOTO

A Ugandan Female innovator, Philippa Ngaju Makobore, came second at the 2017 edition of the coveted Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). She returned home with a cash prize of $25,000 after her project known as Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) wooed judges.

The Innovation Prize for Africa is organized by African Innovation Foundation (AIF). The 2017 awards, which were held in Ghana, welcomed hundreds of entries from outstanding innovators. The top ten nominees won cash prizes.

For the first time, IPA nominees included innovators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe, and featured a stronger presence of women than in any of the years past.

Makobore’s invention, known as Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set, is designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.

It is easy to operate and has key safety features, which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device. IV infusions are critical for both adults and children in various situations. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy.

Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours. Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump.

Aly El-Shafei of Egypt, who emerged as the Grand Prize winner walked away with the Grand Prize of US$ 100, 000 for his Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB) project.

SEMAJIB is a smart bearing that significantly improves turbine performance in single line combined cycle plants as well as conventional generator technology. The device patented in the US since 2010, is designed to be used to support energy generating turbines more efficiently and cost effectively in Africa.

SEMAJIB is an innovation that does not currently exist in the West, and already Siemens' has indicated interest in the device.

In third place was Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia. He also won the Special Prize for Social Impact of US$25 000. He developed a rapid test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time.

His diagnostic test is fast and easy to use in any setting and is able to detect and distinguish multiple infections which bear the same symptoms for instance, when a patient has yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola.

Whereas most testing methods take three to seven days, this device gives test results in ten to forty minutes. Dougbeh is currently working on the second prototype of his innovation after obtaining positive results from his first prototype.

The results have been validated with human clinical samples, peer-reviewed and published in several respected scientific journals such as ‘Nature-Scientific Reports’. His innovation has the potential of being a game changer in the continent in the detection and management of infectious diseases for quality patient-care.

The Innovation Prize for Africa is organized by African Innovation Foundation (AIF). The 2017 awards, which were held in Ghana, welcomed hundreds of entries from outstanding innovators. The top ten nominees won cash prizes.

For the first time, IPA nominees included innovators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe, and featured a stronger presence of women than in any of the years past.

Makobore’s invention, known as Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set, is designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.

It is easy to operate and has key safety features, which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. A battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed powers the device. IV infusions are critical for both adults and children in various situations. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy.

Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours. Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump.

Aly El-Shafei of Egypt, who emerged as the Grand Prize winner walked away with the Grand Prize of US$ 100, 000 for his Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing (SEMAJIB) project.

SEMAJIB is a smart bearing that significantly improves turbine performance in single line combined cycle plants as well as conventional generator technology. The device patented in the US since 2010, is designed to be used to support energy generating turbines more efficiently and cost effectively in Africa. SEMAJIB is an innovation that does not currently exist in the West, and already Siemens' has indicated interest in the device.

In third place was Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia. He also won the Special Prize for Social Impact of US$25 000. He developed a rapid test that can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time.

His diagnostic test is fast and easy to use in any setting and is able to detect and distinguish multiple infections which bear the same symptoms for instance, when a patient has yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola.

Whereas most testing methods take three to seven days, this device gives test results in ten to forty minutes. Dougbeh is currently working on the second prototype of his innovation after obtaining positive results from his first prototype.

The results have been validated with human clinical samples, peer-reviewed and published in several respected scientific journals such as ‘Nature-Scientific Reports’. His innovation has the potential of being a game changer in the continent in the detection and management of infectious diseases for quality patient-care.

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