BALTIMORE, USA – At the conference on sustaining African Healthcare Innovations held over the weekend at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the award-winning African infectious disease scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, has emphasized that “Africa governments need to strongly support African innovators and protect these innovations from intellectual property theft.”
“Intellectual property protection of the many vibrant innovations from the African continent is key to sustainability and improvement of healthcare and life in other sectors. These ideas may have high economic values and economic benefit to the continent,” Dr. Nyan added.
He said, “Africa cannot continue to allow its ideas to slip out, be reproduced and repackaged by others, and then sold back to Africa at higher cost or brought back to Africa as so-called donations. Africans need to build factories to manufacture for ourselves and export to the world.”
The conference which centered on Sustaining Healthcare Innovations in Africa was organized jointly by the African Public Health Network, Mzuzah Africa and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Johns Hopkins University is a major US higher institution of learning whose School of Public Health is fighting global health disparity.
Commenting further on the sidelines of the Mzuzah Convergence Africa Innovation Health conference, Dr. Nyan mentioned that “Africa has enormous talent, hence investing in producing our own ideas will yield economic benefits for the continent,” adding that, “this was the vision of the late President William R. Tolbert of Liberia and is now the path of the dynamic President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.”
Dougbeh Chris Nyan is the renowned inventor of the Multiplex Rapid Diagnostic Test for Infectious Diseases. The Nyan Test can simultaneously detect and identify multiple infections in 10 to 40 minutes. The test is designed to be portable, less expensive, and simple to use. It detects infections like Ebola, Zika, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Coronaviruses, Hepatitis viruses, Dengue, West Nile virus, several neglected tropical infections, and many others.
Dr. Nyan is winner of the 2017 African Innovation Award Special Prize for Social Impact and was granted a US Patent for his invention by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his multiplex diagnostic test.
He stressed that, as an entrepreneur who wants to make an impact, “innovation must be tailored primarily to the needs and services of the society, mainly the impoverished populations, but should not be solely focused on profit-making.”