USAID honors 12 Ebola-fighting ideas in global contest

The U.S. Agency for International Development honored 12 Ebola-fighting ideas submitted in a global challenge. | Courtesy of USAID

The U.S. Agency for International Development said on Wednesday that it has chosen to honor 12 ideas in its "Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development" program, which sought ideas worldwide to improve measures being taken in West Africa and anywhere else the virus might hit.

An expert review panel chose 12 innovations among hundreds that it believes can help in the current response and in any future Ebola virus outbreaks.

“We are embracing a new model of development, one that harnesses the power of science and technology to bend the curve of development,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said. “Through the Fighting Ebola challenge, we will continue to source, test and scale groundbreaking innovations that will not only save lives in the months to come, but lay the foundation for more resilient and vibrant communities across West Africa.”

The challenge was launched in October in collaboration with field experts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House Office of Science and Technology, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

About 1,500 different ideas from around the world were received, and the experts chose several of those ideas. Some of the ideas included the DripAssist, which delivers fluids to patients and eliminates the risk of overloading. Other inventions and innoventions include the re-engineering of health care workers' protective suits to make them more breathable, deploying Ebola Treatment Units more rapidly and creating a community education platform to get information out about the virus.

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