WHO Africa hosts hackathons, offers seed funds to fight COVID-19

Must Read

TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT launches TROPICS STARTUPS CHALLENGE, a Small Business Hackathon

The TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT is proud to announce the launch of its very first cohort of the...

Le TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT et ses partenaires lancent le TROPICS STARTUPS CHALLENGE

Le sommet d’affaires TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT en collaboration avec ses partenaires MELANIN KAPITAL, DIRA PARTNERS, REDA CAPITAL...

La JEUNE CHAMBRE DU CONGO-KINSHASA AU QUÉBEC, partenaire de la 4ème édition du sommet d’investissement TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT

Dans la perspective du prochain sommet d’investissement TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT, qui aura lieu en livestream du 14...

The World Health Organization in Africa is holding virtual hackathons and offering up to $20,000 in seed-funds to finalists with digital solutions to stem COVID-19.

The regional office of the UN agency completed its first challenge earlier this month and will host a second, for French speaking Africa, in coming weeks, WHO’s Technical Officer Moredeck Chibi told TechCrunch.

According to Dr. Chibi, the WHO-AFRO Digital Hackathon series aims to prompt tech applications — with specificity to Africa — to curb the spread and negative impact of COVID-19 — which began to spike on the continent in March.

For the first virtual challenge, WHO selected participants via an online application process and split them into teams via Zoom. Groups were tasked with developing scalable concepts aligned with WHO’s current COVID-19 response strategy, which includes infection prevention and control, case management, surveillance and continuity of health services.

The winning hackathon group, led by Ghanaian Entrepreneur Laud Basing, developed a screening tool concept — operable via mobile app or USSD code — that maps COVID-19 test cases, classifies them according to risk and provides data to national authorities to plan responses. The team, that included Senegalese political adviser Fatou Sagna Sow, will receive $10,000 from the WHO to pilot their concept and support in attaining additional funding and expertise.

Image Credits: World Health Organization Africa

WHO aggregates coronavirus data on its Africa incident tracking database.

Early in March, the continent’s COVID-19 cases by country were in the single digits, but by mid-month those numbers had jumped — leading the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti to sound an alarm on the virus at a March 19 press conference. She noted at the beginning of March there were only five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with cases. That had grown to 30 by mid-month and now stands at 44. 

By the World Health Organization’s stats Monday there were 6023 COVID-19 cases in Sub-Saharan Africa and 240 confirmed deaths related to the virus, up from 463 cases and 8 deaths on March 18.

The hardest hit country so far, South Africa, has gone into a government enforced lockdown.

As COVID-19 spreads in Africa’s major economies, policy-makers and founders have looked to the continent’s tech sector to shape responses.

The central banks of Ghana and Kenya  have turned to mobile-money as a public-health tool, adopting measures to shift a greater volume of transactions toward digital payments and away from cash — which the World Health Organization flagged as a conduit for coronavirus.

Africa’s largest incubator, CcHub, launched a fund and open call for tech projects aimed at curbing COVID-19 and its social and economic impact.

And Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia has offered African governments use of its last-mile delivery network for distribution of supplies to healthcare facilities and workers.

The WHO’s COVID-19 related Africa hackathons aren’t the first time the organization has turned to the continent’s techies. In 2019, the Geneva  based body launched the WHO Innovation Challenge — a competition to shape “home-grown innovations with potential to solve African health challenges”. It drew 2400 entries from 44 countries.

Those interested in pitching a solution to the World Health Organization’s next hackathon in response to COVID-19 can contact WHO’s Africa office.

Written by Jake Bright, Originally published on Tech Crunch

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT launches TROPICS STARTUPS CHALLENGE, a Small Business Hackathon

The TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT is proud to announce the launch of its very first cohort of the...

Le TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT et ses partenaires lancent le TROPICS STARTUPS CHALLENGE

Le sommet d’affaires TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT en collaboration avec ses partenaires MELANIN KAPITAL, DIRA PARTNERS, REDA CAPITAL et OPEN CONSULTING lancent le...

La JEUNE CHAMBRE DU CONGO-KINSHASA AU QUÉBEC, partenaire de la 4ème édition du sommet d’investissement TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT

Dans la perspective du prochain sommet d’investissement TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT, qui aura lieu en livestream du 14 au 17 Octobre 2020 et...

La 4eme édition du TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT se tiendra par vidéo conférence du 14–17 Octobre 2020

TROPICS MEDIA (Johannesburg, South Africa) — Chez TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT, des mesures de précaution visant à limiter la propagation du virus Covid-19 ont...

TROPICS MAGAZINE Announces 4th annual TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT as a Virtual Experience on October 14–17, 2020

TROPICS MEDIA (Johannesburg, June 22, 2020) — In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the forced cancellation of mass gatherings the TROPICS...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -