CAPE TOWN – From a WhatsApp chatbot to a self-diagnosis tool, health technology innovation has thrived in Africa amid the coronavirus.
According to a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus pandemic has spurred health technology innovation in Africa.
Here are some of the creative inventions Africans have developed as a response to the challenges of the pandemic:
- 3D mask printing
Natalie Raphil is the founder of Artificial Intelligence company Robots Can Think South Africa.She’s using 3D printers to produce 100 masks a day for use in some of Johannesburg’s major hospitals. South Africa accounts for around half of all reported coronavirus cases in Africa.
- Rapid 65-minute Covid-19 testing kit
South African tech entrepreneurs Daniel Ndima and Dineo Lioma have created a Covid-19 testing kit which provides results in just 65 minutes. Typically, it can take up to three days for Covid-19 tests to produce results. The testing kit is known as qPCR, and features a technology used to measure DNA. The testing kit needs to undergo regulatory approval before it can be rolled out.
- Solar-powered hand-washing sink
Ghananian Richard Kwarteng and his brother Jude Osei decided to design a solar-powered hand-washing basin. When hands come into contact with a sensor on the device, soapy water is automatically released. An alarm goes off after 25 seconds of hand-washing – within the timescale recommended by the World Health Organization.
- Wooden money sanitiser
Kenyan Danson Wanjohi has built a wooden device that sanitises cash notes that are passed through a slot in the machine. Wanjohi constructed the mechanism using a motor, a rubber band and gears which enable notes to pass through the machine. As the notes pass through the device, they are cleaned with a sanitising solution.
- $1 Covid-19 Testing Kit
Scientists In Senegal Developed A $1 Covid-19 Testing Kit And Plan To Export Millions To African Countries. Originally made to test for Dengue Fever, the test resembles pee-on-a-stick pregnancy technology and can detect the virus in 10 minutes. Patients drop blood or saliva on the device and wait for a line to appear.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor