Several students from Accra Technical University (ATU) have conceived groundbreaking innovations with the potential to enhance healthcare delivery in the country. These innovative prototypes were showcased at the Africa Health Research and Innovation project’s innovation fair. The diverse array of innovations featured at the event included a blood warmer, a thermoelectric vaccine carrier, a dehumidifier, oxygen bags and vests, a portable dialysis machine, an aerospray vacuum stainer, and an auto-bin waste segregator.
As part of the initiative, ATU collaborated with the Design Thinking Ghana Hub and secured a $152,869 grant from UKAid through the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund. The primary goals of the project were to harness and develop the talents of young innovators and create health solutions tailored to local needs. Approximately 150 students from 22 teams actively participated in prototyping and testing the innovations.
Professor Amevi Acakpovi, the acting Vice-Chancellor of ATU, encouraged students to take ownership of their innovations beyond the project’s duration. He announced plans for the school to launch an incubation centre dedicated to appropriately modelling and supporting these innovations. Professor Acakpovi emphasized the importance of integrating innovation and excellence as core principles in technical education, stating that this approach is crucial for graduates to meet job expectations and professional standards.
Acknowledging the prevailing lack of confidence in technical universities, Professor Acakpovi called on corporate institutions to trust the technical know-how of these institutions. Madam Chioma Ogbozor, Coordinator for Country Innovation Platform at the Ghana Health Service, praised the students for their user-centred innovations. She recommended that the university register its upcoming innovation hub as an entity eligible to access funds to support innovators. Dr. Nicholas Adjebu, Director of the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Ministry of Health, highlighted the importance of addressing Ghana’s unique problems through locally tailored innovations, emphasising the need for students to receive training in logical thinking for problem-solving.