13 September, Abuja – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in partnership with EpiAFRIC, Reboot and Nigeria Health Watch today announced an open call for submissions to the #Hack4COVIDWaste, a hackathon designed to develop solutions that will combat the issue of poor management and disposal of COVID-19 waste. The hackathon will be a hybrid in person-virtual event and will take place at Ventures Park in Abuja from October 15- 16 2021. Technology enthusiasts focused on social impact innovation are encouraged to apply online by 01 October 2021 using the application portal.
Health facilities and COVID-19 centers in Nigeria are facing immense challenges in the disposal of infected masks, gloves, and other protective equipment as well as vaccine related supplies. These facilities often have protocols for the safe disposal of biomedical waste, however the poor handling of this waste poses as a hazard for health workers, patients, visitors, and communities around health facilities.
The #Hack4COVIDWaste hackathon will address the issue of COVID-19 biomedical waste management aiming to create a platform for health workers to collaborate with developers, businesspeople and technology practitioners to develop viable solutions that will contribute to sustainable COVID-19 waste management in Nigeria.
All submissions will be reviewed, and shortlisted teams will be invited to participate in the hackathon. The selected teams will be asked to take their ideas through a design thinking process and pitching sessions followed by mentorship by industry experts to refine their ideas in separate breakout rooms. After the first day, teams will have the opportunity to pitch their COVID-19 waste management solution to a panel of judges with the potential of making it through to the second day of the hackathon. Finalists will then pitch their refined idea to a panel of judges.
According to William Tsuma, Crisis Prevention & Recovery Advisor UNDP, proper disposal of COVID-19 waste is essential and needs to be addressed urgently. “Mismanagement of COVID-19 related waste can cause unforeseen knock-off effects on both human health and the environment. At the UNDP, we are pleased to support the #Hack4COVIDWaste to enable the development of homegrown innovative solutions, as the safe handling and disposal of waste is a vital element in an effective emergency response”.
Speaking about the hackathon, Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, CEO EpiAFRIC stated that the partnership came at an appropriate time, particularly with the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients and the recent arrival of vaccines. “It is of a great concern to see the growing amount of waste generated from COVID-19 response measures, such as used facemasks on the streets and syringes/needles improperly disposed in health centers. Therefore, this timely intervention, that will leverage existing talent in the innovation community here in Nigeria, will go a long way in helping to solve the management of COVID-19 wastes”.
In addition, shortlisted participants will benefit from mentoring, training, networking and other support to move their solutions from ideas to workable solutions.
As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas: sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.
EpiAFRIC is a globally competitive, efficient, transparent, and financially sustainable African health consultancy group. We provide a service of uncompromising competence, tenacious integrity, and an in-depth local understanding of the African context, enriched by a culture of delivery from our international experience and underpinned by a socially aware ethos. Our consulting work focuses on improving population health through expert research and data analysis, project design and evaluation, health communication, advocacy, and training.
About Nigeria Health Watch
Nigeria Health Watch uses informed advocacy and communication to influence health policy and seek better health and access to healthcare in Nigeria. We seek to amplify some of the great work happening in the health sector, challenge the bad, and create a space for positive ideas and action. Through its various platforms, Nigeria Health Watch is a trusted source that provides informed commentary and in-depth analysis of health issues in Nigeria, always in good conscience. Learn more at www.nigeriahealthwatch.com
Reboot is a social impact firm dedicated to inclusive development and accountable governance. We help governments, foundations, and international organizations achieve their missions. We explore the origins of complex issues, design contextually appropriate interventions, bring these ideas to reality, and evaluate the results along the way. We incorporate institutional priorities and domain expertise to craft and implement interventions that are both innovative and practical.
For more information and questions about the hackathon please contact:
Contact person UNDP: Alison Clement
Phone number: +234 701 590 6558
Contact person Nigeria Health Watch: Uche Nwagboso
Phone number: +234 814 137 6913