Frugal innovation in health sector from Tanzania? The time is now.
April 20, 2017
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Mawazo Challenge: Students’ Health Innovation Challenge Launched.

Today, 18th April 2017, The Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), a UK Aid Investment in innovation in Tanzania managed by Palladium, in collaboration with Tanzania Bora Initiative (TBI), Sahara Ventures and Tanzania Medical Students Association Tanzania (TAMSA), announced the launch of the Mawazo Challenge: Students Health Innovation Challenge


Mawazo Challenge: Students Health Innovation Challenge is a competition for Students studying at Health and Allied Sciences Universities who have ideas, projects, researches, discoveries, inventions or innovations with the potential to solve problems in Health sector and our community at large. The competition aims at giving a platform and support to innovative ideas, projects, research, discoveries and inventions initiated by students studying at Health and allied science universities to help develop them into products and services that benefit society


Tanzania has numerous institutions of higher education offering higher learning in Health and Allied Sciences. As part of their curriculum, students enrolled at these institutions conduct research in their respective fields, and some of them have innovative ideas with potential to bring solution into health sector. Without a mechanism to prototype and test the findings, the impact of those effort is limited. Tanzania is also facing a major challenge in linking doctors to employment and ensures the sector is lucrative to encourage retention. This is justified by the report “Modeling Solutions to Tanzania Physicians workforce challenges” by Alex J. Goodell and James G. Kahn, indicating that, approximately 56% of all medical school students enrolled between 2011 and 2020 will not be practicing medicine in Tanzania in 2025 due to such linkage gaps.


This reality necessitates the need to adopt innovative approach to bridge the gap by ensuring that students are not depending totally on the job opportunities provided by the public sector, hence the necessity of this project.


The project aims to reach 1,000 students in the 11 Health and Allied Science Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania, including young women to empower and provide the platform for them to be able to establish new businesses and social enterprises, develop new techniques, new models, and new products to tackle challenges facing the health sector, and bring them to market.


The project will run for 12 months starting by the call for ideas, which will be open from April 18 to June 18. The judges will shortlist 30 successfully applicant to attend the boot camp which will run from 1st to 12th September before final pitching to get 10 winners who will be announced on October and awarded up to 2500 British Pounds.


The winners will continue with acceleration program from November, which will include mentorship and other expert help. The project also will run campaigns and various activities within all stages of the program at the participating institutions, which will start from April to June.


The project will embrace various activities and campaigns at the participating institution while students will participate in competition by submitting their ideas through the project official website whereby the panel of judges will shortlist the enhanced ideas for the boot camp and acceleration program, and ten finalists will receive seed funding and continuance mentorship to the final products making.


For further information, Ismail Biro, can be reached at:

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