The 2nd annual Innovate Ghana Design Challenge Awards is expected to come off on Friday, February 6th 2015 at the University of Ghana Business School, organisers have announced.
The event will be held under the theme, “Designing Low-Cost Isolation Units for Ebola Affected Countries.”
“Innovate Ghana, is an annual design competition in Ghana, which seeks to stimulate innovative socio-economic solutions through engineering. The 2014 Design Challenge is aimed to tackle the most pressing social and development issues in West Africa today – addressing the issues of inadequate facilities for patients in Ebola affected nations,” says Founder of Innovate Ghana, Ms. Freda Yawson.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been 21,689 reported Ebola cases with 8,626 fatalities reported in nine countries: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, Britain, and the United States of America as of 11 January 2015. The majority of these cases were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Among these countries, Sierra Leone was the worst affected country by Ebola.
The competition sought to raise awareness about the Ebola Virus Disease and the important role engineering can play to come up with solutions to social and development challenges. This competition allowed engineering students to apply their skills across different sectors and help the health sector address the gap in having sufficient isolation and treatment centers.
Five group entries were received and adjudication has been ongoing over the past week. This Friday, five student teams will come face-to-face as they present their designs to the expert panel of judges comprised of: WHO, Noguchi Memorial Institute, LOWDO Design and University of Ghana. The contestant designs are assessed based on some of the following criteria: size, cost, portability, physical protection from the elements, and feasibility to care for immobilized patients. The top three teams will receive prizes of 500 GHc, 200 GHc, and 100 GHc respectively.
The competition commenced on Saturday, 15 November 2014 and ended on Saturday, 31 January 2015. The competition was open to current university, tertiary, vocational students, and recent graduates. Participants were encouraged to work in multidisciplinary teams to develop designs, prototypes, and business plans for production.
The expert panel of judges include Dr. Kofi Bonney (Noguchi Memorial Institute), Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann (University of Ghana), Mr. Yaw DK Osseo Asare (LOWDO Design), Dr. Sally-Ann Ohene (WHO) and Dr. Sam Kwofie (University of Ghana).