Africa

These innovations are helping combat Covid-19 across Africa

Published 8:24 PM ET, Thu January 14, 2021
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Covid-19 vaccines are providing hope that the pandemic is coming to an end. But mass immunization will be a huge feat, especially in low and middle-income countries. Startups like Nigeria's Gricd are trying to bridge the gap, providing portable cold boxes that can be transported to remote and rural areas. Lukman Folade
Gricd cold boxes are packaged securely, and equipped with monitoring devices that can detect their location, internal temperature and humidity. This creates a controlled environment to ensure the vaccine's efficacy. Gricd
In sub-Saharan Africa, where 600 million people live off the grid, PEG Africa is helping to outfit rural health clinics with solar power, so that they can power vaccine refrigeration, as well as carry out other medical procedures that require energy. PEG Africa
US-based company Zipline has used drones to distribute medical supplies to clinics in Rwanda and Ghana. In 2020, the company told CNN it could distribute Covid-19 vaccines when they become available. Zipline
Technology could also help tackle the spread of coronavirus at an earlier stage. This rapid test kit has been developed in Senegal for distribution around Africa. A small finger-prick of blood, much like an insulin test, delivers a result in less than 10 minutes. CNN
The rapid test kits will first be distributed to public health authorities. The goal is that they will eventually become available to the general public for testing at home. CNN
Rwanda enlisted the help of robots for mass temperature screening, keeping track of medical records for Covid-19 patients, and monitoring overall patient status -- cutting down on contact and exposure risk between patients and healthcare workers. Rwanda Biomedical Centre
The robots can also screen up to 150 patients per minute for symptoms of the virus, like fever and cough. Rwanda Biomedical Centre