30 African e-health projects named finalists of WHO Innovation Challenge

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Thirty African e-health projects have been named finalists of the first WHO Africa Innovation Challenge, winning a fully-sponsored trip to exhibit at the Africa Health Forum in Cape Verde on March 26.

Disrupt Africa reported in November of last year The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the first WHO Africa Innovation Challenge, calling for health innovations with the potential for having significant social impact and addressing health needs on the continent.

A total of 2,471 applications were received from 77 countries, including 44 in Africa, for the challenge, with a panel of independent evaluators assessing and profiling the innovations in terms of the potential for making impact as well as ability to be scaled up in a sustainable way.

These applications have now been narrowed down to 30 finalists, who will now attend WHO’s Africa Health Forum in Cape Verde. At the event, they will get the opportunity to exhibit their innovations and meet with top political, government and business leaders in the health space.

Other innovations that were submitted will be exhibited on a dynamic virtual marketplace platform currently under development.

Eight of the selected projects are from Nigeria, namely Dr Ebinabo Ofrey (GeroCare), Dr Charles Immanuel Akhmien (myPaddi), Chales Onu (Ubenwa), Morenike Fajemisin (WHISPA mHealth App), Dr Doris Jema Onyeador (Maldor Gift of Sight), Dr Imodoye Abioro (Bimi Online for Africa), and Dr Ime Asangansi, who is nominated twice (Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) Data Collection Platform, and Multi-Source Data Analytics and Triangulation Dashboard)

Uganda has three representatives in the shape of Denis Lee Oguzu (National Ambulance Service), Dr Misaki Wayengera (Pan-Filovirus Rapid Diagnostic Test), and Wasswa William (PapES), as does Kenya – Dr Frida Njogu-Ndongwe (Afyakit), Geoffrey Andrew (Smart Paper Technology on Improving MCH Services), and Professor Eunice Kamaara (African Character Initiation Programme).

Ghana, South Africa and Benin each have two finalists, while Rwanda, Cameroon, Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Malawi have one each. There are also finalists from Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and the Netherlands.

“The extent of response from the Innovation Challenge affirms the enthusiasm, especially among young people, to make a difference and contribute to the health care system on the continent. Health innovators have found a new home at WHO, where their innovative ideas will be supported in partnership with our network of stakeholders,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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