On Feb. 14, 2020, Africa recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case in Egypt. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus reached the continent via travelers from Asia, Europe, and the U.S. As of last week, WHO reports that cases in Africa have risen to over 30,000 with nearly 1,400 deaths.
While some doctors saw Africa as nothing more than a testing lab for COVID-19 vaccines, citizens of Africa have honed their intelligence and innovation to create inventions that aid in the reduction of the virus within their continent.
Check out these three Africa-based inventions that are contributing to COVID-19 solutions.
RESPIRE-19 Portable Ventilator
According to Face2Face Africa, Usman Dalhatu, a 20-year-old mechanical engineer student at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, invented and built a local ventilator. With the help of his partners, Dr. Yunusa Muhammad Garba of the Human Anatomy Department, Gombe State University, and Aliyu Hassan, a graduate of Mechatronics Engineering, the design has since been transformed into a portable ultra-modern E-vent automatic ventilator. The group presented their invention to Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, the governor of Gombe State in Nigeria.
“I have equally manufactured an electric cooking stove. I have several projects I am presently working on. But I am appealing to the government to patronize my products, and also assist me in any other relevant way,” Dalhatu told Face2Face Africa.
Our very own @UsmanDalhatu5 that went viral for producing a ventilator, has transformed his emergency ventilator idea into a portable E-vent automatic ventilator. He's just a 200-level Mechanical Engineering student#Abusites #NaturallyAhead pic.twitter.com/qXElRJV2vS
— ABU™ Campus Connect (@ABU_Campus) April 16, 2020
qPCR COVID-19 Testing Kit
Created by tech entrepreneurs and founders of CapeBio, Daniel Ndima, and Dineo Lioma, the qPCR testing kits provide results in 65 minutes. According to Face2Face Africa, the testing kits have proven to be a major breakthrough in South Africa’s COVID-19 battle.
Ndima, the CEO of CapeBio, knows the importance of rapid testing for the heavily populated South Africa.
“The ability to obtain rapid test results allows us to gain a clearer picture of viral infections so that we are able to introduce interventions with greater effectiveness. This will remain important even after lockdown, as South Africa has a population of over 55 million people who will need to be monitored on an ongoing basis,” Ndima told the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.
2 South African entrepreneurs CapeBio CEO Daniel Ndima & COO Dineo Lioma have developed a COVID-19 test kit that gives results in 65 minutes.
Ndima: BSc in Biotechnology & MSc in Biochemistry
Lioma: BEng Metallurgy, MSc Metallurgy & MPhil Nanotechnology#SouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/elEDhcEOGN
— Povo News (@povonewstv) April 22, 2020
Solar-Powered Hand Washing Sink
Created by Ghanaian genius, Richard Kwarteng Aning, the solar-powered hand washing sink was developed to contribute to the reduction of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Ghana. According to Face2Face Africa, the handwashing sink was certified by the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) for commercial production.
The sink comes with a double-tap dispensary — one for soap and another for water that allows soapy water to be dispensed once it senses users’ hands. The sinks are built from recycled barrels and feature a 25-second alarm once the handwashing session is complete.
GHANAIAN INVENTS SENSOR HAND-WASHING SINK FROM SCRAPS
Necessity, they say is the mother of inventions and a young Ghanaian man, Richard Kwarteng Aning, together with his team has given credence to the saying.
Reiterating the need for safety from Coronavirus, the 32-year-ol… pic.twitter.com/nRCIAL4RAd
— Efo Julius (@Efo_julius) April 7, 2020
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the globe, these African scientists and inventors are using their brilliance, innovation, and compassion to do their part in aiding in solutions.