Africa has been a continent that has been overshadowed by many other continents, and for time has been at the back end of the line, sadly the continent has been home to many outbreaks of disease, facilitated by the poor medical standards, which is fuelled by the poor economy of many countries. Electricity is not widely available to many people in the world let alone the continent of Africa, with Yale Environment 360 estimating that a total of 1.3 billion people worldwide do not have electricity. With that in account, the world population is tolled at 7.4 billion, this tells us that roughly 17% of the people on Earth are without habitual access to electricity. As the earth as a whole powers through, it is essential that efforts to improve life in Africa and in life in poorly attended areas, improve as a whole.
Steamaco created a micro-grid that had the ability to automate the regulation of electricity. Due to it being difficult to provide solar energy after the sun has gone down, the system would send a message to customers telling them that their energy would be cut off during times when their supply would have been low, in order for hospitals to keep running. It is incredibly important that energy is provided to hospitals, as they are the backbone of the elderly community and the legs of the infancy, lack of a hospital can make life very difficult and the community very sick in the event of an outbreak. These small steps lead to a bigger picture and accelerate the goal of helping electricity reach many people, and allow for more facilities to be built as an extension onto that.
The Africa Prize is given to an individual or group that attempts to solve a problem faced by many, whether it be medical or energy. A shortlist for the prize was the invention of the pneumonia jacket. A jacket that detected pneumonia. Statistically in Uganda, pneumonia kills 27,000 Ugandan children under the age of five, and sadly many of these cases are misdiagnosis of pneumonia as malaria. The engineer of the jacket; Brian Turgabagye designed this biomedical jacket too quickly and efficiently measure the temperature, and breathing rate of a sick child. The jacket is particularly innovative and lifesaving, as it reduces human error of misdiagnosis and it can diagnose pneumonia three to four times faster than a doctor. The jacket works through a stethoscope inside of it. Which is then linked to a mobile phone app that records the audio of the patient’s chest. By detecting lung crackles, a diagnoses can be reached. The ingenuity of this, is the use of a mobile phone app, showing how something so widely available on an international scale, can be used to help save a life.
The importance of these movements to provide Africa with a brighter future and the rest of the world, cannot be stressed enough. International recognition should be paid attention to the African Prize, in hopes that investors such as Mark Zuckerberg who have made it their goal to eradicate disease, to invest in these lifesaving inventions, which will lead to a cleaner future for the world.