Ugandan engineer wins $ 25,000 innovation prize

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Phillippa Ngaju Makobore

Ugandan young innovator, Phillippa Ngaju Makobore has scooped the second prize in the 2017 innovation Prize for Africa.

Philippa Ngaju, an Electrical Engineer attached to the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), took home the second prize of USD 25 000 (89 million Shillings) for her innovation; Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF), a medical device designed to accurately administer intravenous fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.

Over 10 percent of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the Fluid Expansion As Supportive Therapy-FEAST trial indicate that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 percent at 48 hours while erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects.

Ngaju’s innovation seeks to solve the problem by presenting an easy to operate device with key safety features which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors. The devise is powered by a battery utilizing a hybrid (AC mains and solar) charging bed.

Aly El-Shafei of Egypt emerged overall winner taking home a grand prize of USD 100,000 (356 million Shillings).

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The awards which took place last night; July 18, in Accra Ghana, pit ten innovators from nine African countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, selected from a list of 2,530 innovators across 48 African countries.

These included innovators that have demonstrated proficiency through innovative solutions addressing challenges in agriculture value chain, health care, energy, communications, service industries as well as surveillance using drone technology.

Each one of the seven remaining nominees also went home with USD 5,000 (18 million Shillings) voucher to be used to further develop their innovations.

“AIF has rewarded IPA 2017 for developing solutions that can truly add value to the lives of Africans, and I believe that these innovations have incredible commercial potential and will succeed in attracting the right investments to go to the next stage, ” AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, stated.

IPA 2017 Chairman of the Jury, Prof Nyasse Barthelemy said that the deliberation was tough as the quality of innovations were high. “Each of the innovations, in their own respective ways, were winners as they represented local solutions to local challenges. It came down to the wire but we believe we have awarded the most compelling innovations this year.”

Source: Uganda Radio Network

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