The Corona virus pandemic is presenting new challenges to engineers worldwide. The disease which has been declared a global pandemic is spreading fast due to ease in travel and interactivity in the modern world. The world therefore requires a multidisciplinary approach if we are to fight it successfully. The pandemic which is straining medics the world over requires solutions fit for a world in which technology in travel and communication has eased movement of people, goods and information to virtually all parts of the world.
The pandemic poses a unique opportunity for engineers to come up with lasting solutions to curb current and future outbreaks. Innovators especially in African countries need to come up with cheaper home-grown solutions as every nation is stretching their resources to curb the spread in their own countries. Senegal for example has come up with cheap testing kits and ventilators which makes them among top African countries in the fight against Covid-19. These innovations have made Senegal achieve a high diagnostic and treatment threshold as compared to most countries in Africa.
Locally, innovators are working around the clock to come up with solutions to help curb the spread of the scourge in various ways. Among them are automated hand washing machines and ventilators. Although it may be seen as a knee jerk reaction, it presents an opportunity for local innovators to showcase their abilities and the capability to offer localized solutions now and in the future.
The pandemic however has also affected innovation hubs in other ways. According to the UK academy of science, some of the immediate effects the pandemic could have are funding, access to facilities and loss of skills, momentum and ability to plan. These effects could however be long term if we do not come up with solutions to curb them. Engineers are looked upon as people who offer practical solutions to problems and as such should step up their efforts and come up with innovative ways to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
To get more resources on the virus, you can visit the websites below:
Ministry of Health - http://www.health.go.ke/covid-19/
World Health Organization (WHO) - https://www.who.int/