Cameroon Cardio-Pad Inventor, Wins Africa Prize For Engineering Innovation
By Leocadia Bongben
Marc Arthur Zang, inventor of the Cardio-Pad-a heart diagnosis and monitoring tablet has won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
Worth about FCFA 21 million the prize designed by the UK based Royal Academy of Engineering was presented to Arthur Zang in the Tanzanian Capital, Dar es Salaam on May 26.
“The Money would be used for the new company I am putting up, Himore Medical in Yaounde, in the payment employees who have just signed their contracts, production of medical appliances being developed internally and to satisfy the needs of the enterprise generally.”, Zang said.
Meanwhile, during the ceremony, Zang commented, “This award has allowed me to measure myself against the best engineers in Africa. I was pushed to the limits, and it has made me a better scientist and a better entrepreneur. It has also grown my ambitions for the Cardio-Pad and my company, Himore Medical which I now aim to grow into a global leader in medical manufacturing. I am also very proud to win for my country. I hope it will help to restore hope to those who still doubt that Africa has a bright future”,
Zang competed with 11 other entrants among them finalists from Uganda-Eddie Aijuka who presented an electricity theft prevention machine, Felix Kamaru from Kenya with a website to save the lives of the mother and child, Matt Wainright with an electricity devise for rural electrification from South Africa who each bagged home about FCFA 10million.
The head Judge Malcolm Brinded on the occasion said, “I was very impressed by Arthur Zang and his team, which aims to help patients in communities where access to cardiac specialists is limited. We are very proud to have him as our second Africa Prize winner”.
Zang is the second winner of the Royal Academy Award, and was lucky to have first winner from Tanzania, Dr Askwar Hilonga present him the prize.
The Royal Academy Award encourages talented sub-Saharan African engineers, from all disciplines, to develop local solutions to challenges in their communities.
The Prize selects a shortlist of innovators from across the continent and provides training and mentoring to help turn engineers with incredible ideas into successful entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2014, the prize aims to stimulate, celebrate and reward engineers who have developed innovations that will benefit Africans.
The shortlisted Africa Prize entrants, from nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, were provided six months of business training and mentoring during which they learned to develop business plans and market their innovations, received coaching on communicating effectively, focusing on customers and approaching investors with confidence.
The Cardio-pad is designed with an assembly of accessories such as cables fixed on the chest, knee and wrist of the patient.
Conductors are connected to the cardio-pad by Bluetooth and the data from the patient, processed and saved during the diagnosis or registration of the patient.
With a click of the button after registration, the information is sent to a cardiologist in town. With his phone or cardio-pad he can send back the diagnosis and prescription from town back to the village, Zang explains.
It suffices to insert the a sim card in the phone for the cardio-pad to be recognized in the system of selected cardiologists, he added
Nearly one in two Africans over the age of 25 has undiagnosed hypertension and an estimated 20 million Africans suffer from a cardiovascular disease. A further 80 million Africans are estimated to have abnormally high blood pressure, which can lead to heart failure.
In Cameroon it is estimated that there are only 50 cardiologists for a population of about 20million, with about 140,000 suffering from Heart diseases.
The Cardio-Pad created in 2011 would therefore contribute to the fight against heart diseases as early diagnosis could bring about treatment and avoid deaths.
Zang has set up, Himore Medical Limited- an assembly plant in Yaounde to vulgarization the Cardio-Pad already on sale in Cameroon, Gabon and India and Nepal.
The medical equipment plant will employ about 150,000 Cameroonians and Zang intends to use the profit from the sale of 43 Cardio-Pads sold at FCFA 2million each to offset the salaries of employees.
Parts of the device manufactured in China were expected in Cameroon in January and the first 100 would to be assembled would be reserved for Cameroonians.
In its early days of creation, Zang won President Biya’s Prize for innovation in July 2015 that permitted him to build the first Cardio-Pads sent to the regional hospitals.
The Cardio-Pad which Zang presented at the Health fair in Geneva won 2014 Rolex Award as the youngest laureate in applied technology and he been listed in the American Business Magazines, Forbes as one of the 30 entrepreneurs to change the future of Africa.