Abuja, Nigeria — One of Africa’s renowned scientists and medical doctor, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan of Liberia has been invited to speak at the 2018 annual conference of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM-2018). The conference, which has brought together medical laboratory scientists from all over Africa and the world is taking place in Abuja, Nigeria this week under the theme, “Preventing and Controlling the Next Epidemic: The Role of the Laboratory.”
Dr. Nyan, whose multiplex infections diagnostic test was recently awarded a US Patent, spoke at the Special Session on Innovation on the topic, “Innovation in Africa: Promoting Ingenuity, Addressing Challenges and Building Innovation Ecosystem in Africa.” 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 that “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 solution that do not effectively address our problems,” Dr. Nyan emphasized. He further commented that “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. During the session, Dr. Nyan presented his patented invention and scientific work in infectious diseases to the scientific audience and also commended the ground-breaking work of his fellow scientists and innovators in African.