Dear Newsdesk,

Please see story attached about The Gambian innovator.

Gambian innovator put the country on the map in the world of engineering in the Africa Prize Engineering for Innovation (APEI) – UK Royal Academy of Engineering.

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Fatou Juka Darboe is a runner-up of the 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering innovation. Fatou Juka Darboe wins £10,000 for Make3D Medical, which uses 3D-printing to create customised orthopedic equipment for medical institutions and their patients. The company designs and produces devices to treat fractures, such as braces, splints, connectors and spare parts for medical devices.

I attach her profile for your interest. I also attach our press release for the final, during which Ivorian Noël N’Guessan was announced as the winner for the 2021 Africa Prize.

You can learn more about all 16 innovators for the 2021 APEI and their innovations here. And you can find the innovators’ photos and videos here.

Please let me know if you’re interested and would like to speak to Fatou Juka Darboe.

Best,

Yethu Dlamini

Proof Communication Africa Ltd

[email protected]

+27 65 998 0097/ +27 67 411 7996 (mobile)

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Innovator: Juka Fatou Darboe

Innovation: Make3D Medical

Country: The Gambia

Make3D Medical uses 3D printing to create customised orthopaedic equipment for medical institutions and their patients.

The Gambia currently imports the vast majority of its medical equipment, and practical training and lab equipment for medical students is limited.

Mechanical and electronics engineer Juka Fatou Darboe identified areas where Make3D Medical devices can be used as an alternative to surgery, and where they can be used to modify existing devices to make them more culturally acceptable, more physician- and patient-friendly, and better suited to local climates than Plaster of Paris. After meetingher co-founder in The Gambia two years ago, their interest in technology and 3D printing brought them together to form Make3D Company Limited, out of which Make3D Medical was born. Their company designs and produces cost-effective medical equipment to treat fractures, such as braces, splints, connectors and spare parts for medical devices.

Juka and her team not only develop finished components and medical products that help doctors provide high-quality care without delays caused by importing and customs, they also teach medical professionals to make their own products. The company’s capacity-building packages include Make3D Medical hardware and software, training for staff, raw materials, and access to a central database of verified 3D designs. This allows hospitals and clinics to respond to needs in real time – if equipment breaks, components can be printed. When patients need structural support like splints and braces, they can be custom made.

In 2020, Make3D Medical developed more than 20 3D-printable devices in cooperation with various partners, including inhaler spacers, humeral braces and Y-connectors. To date, it has manufactured more than 1,000 elements for the medical industry in The Gambia.

Since being shortlisted for the Africa Prize, Make3D Medical has registered its trade name and is in the process of certifying its products with the Gambian Medicines Control Agency. This process will help increase the business’s credibility, which will also make scaling up to other countries in the region much easier.

Pull quote

– “We have identified areas where Make3D Medical devices can be used as an alternative to surgery, and where they can be used to modify existing devices to make them more culturally acceptable, more physician- and patient-friendly, and better suited to local climates than Plaster of Paris.”

– “Winning the Africa Prize would mean a lot for us as Gambians. Small countries like The Gambia are often overlooked. I was the first Gambian to be shortlisted for the Africa Prize. Now I am one of the four finalists. This shows what a small country can do.”

– “The Africa Prize has been so considerate about our time and wellbeing. This is truly remarkable. I have never experienced this in any other programme I’ve been on.”

 

 

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