18 December 2018

Africa: 'Africa's Solutions Must Come From Africans'

Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan (on screen) presents lecture at ASLM 2018.

Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan tells pan-African medical confab

One of Africa's renowned scientists and medical doctors, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan of Liberia, was recently invited to speak at the annual conference of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM-2018), a dispatch from Nigeria has said.

He spoke on the topic, "Innovation in Africa: Promoting Ingenuity, Addressing Challenges and Building Innovation Ecosystem in Africa."

Dr. Nyan's multiplex infections diagnostic test was recently awarded a US Patent.

According to the dispatch, the conference, which brought together medical laboratory scientists from all over Africa and the world, was held in Abuja, Nigeria, last week under the theme, "Preventing and Controlling the Next Epidemic: The Role of the Laboratory."

The Special Session on Innovation was organized by and featured the Innovations in Laboratory Engineered Accelerated Diagnostics (iLEAD) and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).

FIND is a global non-profit organization that supports innovations intended for developing and delivering diagnostics to combat major diseases affecting the world's vulnerable populations, while iLEAD, which is headed by Senegalese scientist Professor Dr. Souleymane Mboup, runs a program that is designed to incubate innovations within the laboratory value chain.

Dr. Mboup is also Director of the Institut de Recherche en Santé de Surveillance Epidémiologique et de Formations (IRESSEF) in Senegal.

In his presentation, Dr. Nyan, Chief Executive and Scientific Officer of Shufflex Biomed, outlined problems scientists and innovators face in Africa.

He said that the "lack of access to capital and funding, and the limited or no support from African national governments constitute a major problem," adding, "lack of infrastructure as well as the bureaucratic, weak or corrupt government systems in many African countries are hindering innovations."

"Africa's solutions will have to come from us Africans; we know our problems better than anyone and should not wait for imported solutions that do not effectively address our problems," Dr. Nyan said.

He added, "Africa needs to identify and support home-grown talents, creativity and technological learning," stating also that African governments must "develop and implement smart collaborative national and pan-African innovation policies in medicine, agriculture, science and technology."

He commended the Africa Innovation Foundation for its role in catalyzing innovation, spotting African talents, supporting innovators in Africa, and for its contribution in building an innovation ecosystem.

Dr. Nyan is winner of the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa Special Award for Social Impact In September this year. He was issued a US Patent for his multiplex test which detects many infections in less than an hour.

Dr. Nyan presented his patented invention and scientific work in infectious diseases during the session to the scientific audience and also commended the ground-breaking work of his fellow scientists and innovators in African.

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