FUDMA Student, leads Nigerian, Ghana Universities to Global Student Sprint on Emerging Infectious Disease

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A 200 level student of Micro Biology Department, Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA) Ibrahim Adamu, is leading a group of five students drawn from Nigeria and Ghana universities tagged “Team KONIC’ to the Finals of this year’s Global Student Design Sprint to Tackle Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The Team KONIC were among the finalist team selected for the Innovate4Health global design sprint to bring forward a new generation of innovators to address the challenges of emerging infectious diseases. Team KONIC’s project focuses on a mobile application to monitor the supply chain of antimicrobials in the food system.

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Members of Team KONIC, which Adamu shall lead include Kenneth Chukwuebuka Egwu (University of Nigeria), Naomi Chinyere Chikezie (University of Port Harcourt), Oluwaseun Aguda (Obafemi Awolowo University) and Clifford Yeboah Duodu (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana).

This design sprint was sponsored by ReAct – Action on Antibiotic Resistance, the International Federation of Medical Students Association, and the Innovation + Design Enabling (IDEA) Access Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of FUDMA, Habibu Umar Aminu said that Team KONIC proposes the development and deployment of a mobile application to monitor the supply chain of antimicrobials in the food system in Northern Nigeria, and educate farmers on AMR and sustainable farming practices through a user-friendly mobile SMARF App.

“The App will provide Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) to farmers, veterinarians, animal scientists, diagnostic laboratories and pharmaceutical stores. The SMARF App will contain details and contact information of all the veterinarians and animal scientists that are signed into it, and farmers can then navigate to this section to contact the professionals that are located closest to them.

“The SMARF App will also show prescribed drugs and laboratory results on the farmer’s profile and uses the farmers’ UIN to ensure that pharmacists can only sell drugs upon validating their prescription. This innovation will ensure that antimicrobials are only sold to farmers who genuinely need them and will resultingly reduce the arbitrary use of antimicrobials.”

The statement added that according to Anthony Garcia on behalf of Innovative4Health Team, university and graduate-level student innovators from across the globe propose creative solutions to tackle the growing threat that emerging infections such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and COVID-19 pose.

“Only one out of four teams were selected to this year’s cohort of 16 finalist teams across 12 different countries. The teams have put forward promising solutions to a wide variety of challenges, including vaccinating homeless populations in Brazil, building upon the “suki culture” to connect small-scale farmers to veterinarians in the Philippines, using mobile phone apps to improve TB treatment adherence in Kenya or to alert a community
to wildlife-transmitted rabies in Colombia, raising awareness over the potential contribution of microplastic pollution to AMR or antimicrobial use in grocery chain food products.

“Throughout the global design sprint, teams continue to develop their project and hone their approach to advocate and engage key stakeholders.Teams receive expert coaching on behavior change strategies. Along the way, teams will produce a social media strategy, pen a blog to advocate for public and policymaker attention to their target issue, and put
together a pitch presentation for an expert panel.

“Innovate4Health also works to amplify awareness and action on the health equity dimensions of their projects. Select teams will have the opportunity to present a poster at the Global Youth AMR Summit on November 19th, with all teams having their posters featured in a virtual poster session timed with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.

“Innovate4Health seeks to train and nurture the next generation of champions to tackle emerging infectious diseases, and in particular, antimicrobial resistance. Across innovation pillars focused on healthcare delivery, the food system and the community, their solutions are tackling these challenges in their local contexts, while the teams
collectively as a cohort are building a community of innovators having the shared inspiration of making change,” the statement added.

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