An alumnus of the University of Ibadan and a member of the 2k14 set of doctors, Dr. Imodoye Abioro, recently emerged as one of the finalists of the maiden edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Innovation Challenge with his innovation, Bimi Online For Africa. The aim of the Challenge was to source, select and profile innovations including community-based initiatives that apply new and fresh thinking to address unmet health needs on the continent.

The top 30 health-oriented innovations were selected from a field of more than 2, 400 entries to the first-ever WHO Innovation Challenge and would be presenting their innovation on opening day of the second WHO Africa Health Forum in Praia, Cabo Verde, on 26 March 2019.

The WHO Innovation Challenge received a total of 2 471 applications in just four weeks from 77 countries – 44 countries in Africa. A panel of independent evaluators assessed and profiled the innovations in terms of the potential for making impact as well as ability to be scaled up in a sustainable way. More than a third of the submissions came from women.

“The amount of response from the Innovation Challenge affirms the enthusiasm, especially among young people, to make a difference and contribute to the health care system on the continent. Health innovators have found a new home at WHO, where their innovative ideas will be supported in partnership with our network of stakeholders,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Among all the applications received, 639 made it through to the evaluation phase. This is a reflection of the challenges that innovators face in making progress from ideas to development and eventual broad-based application of their solutions. Investments in the innovation ecosystem that are complemented by innovation-friendly policies remain critical for further encouraging and supporting development of innovative solutions to solve Africa’s health challenges.

In addition to showcasing the 30 best-profiled innovations during the three-day WHO Africa Health Forum in Cabo Verde, other innovations that were submitted will be exhibited on a dynamic virtual marketplace platform currently under development. When fully operational, the platform will connect diverse stakeholders, ranging from government ministry officials and health experts to academics, business angels and investors to support further development and the scaling up of these ideas.

Dr. Imodoye was one of the seven Nigerians who made the list of the top 30 health – oriented innovators to proffer solutions to Africa’s unmet health needs. The seven Nigerians selected are : Dr . Doris Jema Onyeador on Maldor Gift of Sight ; Dr . Ebinabo Ofrey on GeroCare; Morenike Fajemisin , on WHISPA mHealth App ; Dr . Ime Asangansi on Integrated Supportive Supervision ( ISS) Data Collection Platform and Multi – Source Data Analytics and Triangulation Dashboard ; Dr . Charles Immanuel Akhmien on myPaddi , Chales Onu on Ubenwa and Dr . Imodoye Abioro on Bimi Online for Africa .