WHO selects seven Nigerians as finalists for innovation challenge
Among the Nigerian finalists for WHO Africa Innovation Challenge 2019 are Dr. Doris Jema Onyeador (founder, Maldor Gift of Sight); Dr. Ebinabo Ofrey (founder, GeroCare); and Dr. Imodoye Abioro (founder, Bimi Online for Africa).
The World Health Organization (WHO) in the African Region has selected 30 health-based innovations and solutions that are improving health outcomes and meeting various health needs in Africa. The 30 finalists, out of which seven are Nigerians, were selected from over 2,000 entries for the maiden WHO Africa Innovation Challenge.
The seven Nigerians are Dr. Doris Jema Onyeador (selected for her solution called Maldor Gift of Sight); Dr. Ebinabo Ofrey (founder, GeroCare); Morenike Fajemisin (founder, WHISPA mHealth App); Charles Onu (founder, Ubenwa Intelligence Solutions). Others are Dr. Charles Immanuel Akhmien (founder, myPaddi); Dr. Imodoye Abioro (founder, Bimi Online for Africa); and Dr. Ime Asagansi (founder, Integrated Supportive Supervision (ISS) Data Collection Platform and Multi-source Data Analytics and Triangulation Dashboard).
WHO, in a statement released on Friday, said the Innovation Challenge received a total of 2,471 applications from 77 countries, including 44 African countries. Following the opening of the application process last year, WHO said a panel of independent evaluators assessed and profiled the innovations in terms of the potentials for making impact, as well as their ability to be scaled up in a sustainable way.
The other 23 finalists are from Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Netherlands, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
More than a third of the submissions, WHO noted, came from women. All the 30 finalists will be showcasing their innovations at the WHO Africa Health Forum (AHF) in Praia, Cape Verde, on March 26, 2019. They will get the opportunity to meet with top political, government and business leaders in the health space.
“The amount 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,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa. “Health innovators have a new home at WHO, where their innovative ideas will be supported in partnership with our network of stakeholders.”
According to the statement, other innovations that were submitted will also be exhibited on WHO’s dynamic virtual marketplace, which is currently being developed. The platform, when fully operational, will connect diverse stakeholders, ranging from government officials and health experts to academics and investors to support further development and the scaling up of these innovative ideas.
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