Namibian selected as WHO Innovation Challenge finalist

11 Mar 2019 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 11 MAR (NAMPA) - Immanuel Hango, the only Namibian selected as a finalist for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Innovation Challenge, says he is excited to take part in the competition.
Hango is one of 30 health-oriented innovators selected from more than 2 400 entries for the WHO Innovation Challenge for his innovations which produces chlorine using solar energy.
The chlorine can be used for water purification to kill bacteria and can also be used as a household detergent.
The challenge will be presented during the second WHO Africa Health Forum in Praia, Cabo Verde on 26 March 2019.
In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Hango said the forum will help him showcase his innovations and network with likeminded people.
“I'm happy to showcase some of my innovations and see what comes out,” he said, adding that he hopes to secure funding for his project as there will be venture capitalists in attendance.
In a media statement, the WHO said the top 30 health-oriented innovations were selected from 2 471 applications in four weeks from 77 countries, including 44 African countries.
Over a third of the submissions came from women.
“A panel of independent evaluators assessed and profiled the innovations in terms of the potential for making impact, as well as ability to be scaled up in a sustainable way,” the statement reads.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said the overwhelming entries reflect Africa’s enthusiasm to contribute to the continent’s health system.
“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. Health innovators have found a new home at WHO, where their innovation ideas will be supported in partnership with our network of stakeholders,” Moeti said.
The 30 finalists will display their innovations during the three-day forum and their work will then be submitted to be exhibited on WHO’s virtual marketplace platform that is under development.
“When fully operational, the platform will connect diverse stakeholders, ranging from government ministry officials and health experts to academics, business angels and investors to support further development and the scaling up of these ideas,” the statement said.
The other candidates arre from Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Kenya, Cameroon, Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.