PedalTap Named Winner of Africa Innovation Challenge

Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and Johnson & Johnson is proud to support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements in the continent’s health systems,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We are seeing a surge of activity among entrepreneurs and health system leaders to develop important solutions that overcome longstanding health and societal challenges. By working together, we hope to bring meaningful solutions to patients and consumers more rapidly, to help cultivate the next generation of scientists, and to support Africa’s entrepreneurial base.”

PROJECT PEDAL TAP (Uganda) Seeking to prevent disease transmission, and a reduction of water use, Project Pedal Tap will develop hands-free solutions for hand water taps in Uganda. The entrepreneurs will create manufacturing capabilities, using mostly recycled materials, which will lead to an ongoing business.

Woman creates foot pedal to make hand washing easier

As Ebola spread through West Africa in 2014, Grace Nakibaala worried about her mother, an optician who was regularly in contact with travelers at Entebbe International Airport, the nation’s main airport.

Precautions to prevent the spread of the disease were minimal and seemed inadequate, she says. Mostly, people at the airport were just encouraged to wash their hands after using the restroom.

“I was not fully convinced that this situation could safeguard Ugandans from infectious diseases,” Nakibaala says.

 

My PedalTap and InnovAsepsis Ltd Journey

It all started with the recent Ebola outbreak in WestAfrica. My mum is an Ophthalmological Clinical Officer working with Entebbe Hospital right next to the national main entry point. I was scared that she was at risk of contracting Ebola since one of the initial signs was red eyes. At that point I asked myself how can I save my mother from contracting Ebola? I did not ask how the government or NGOs or WHO can save my mother?! As a final year architecture student I immediately asked for where the Isolation centres had been set up as the nation was getting prepared to handle an outbreak if it spilled over to Uganda and how they were designed. Just by first engagement, there were many issues that seemed wrong so I decided to investigate the architectural suitability of these Isolation centres as my final year dissertation. I had numerous trainings by World Health Organisation (WHO), Infectious Disease Institute (IDI), Doctors without borders, in Ebola case management and Especially dangerous pathogens management.