Ugandan Inventor Bags Shs. 17M at Innovation Prize for Africa Competition

Ugandan female Innovator Philippa Ngaju Makobore is now Shs. 17,975,000 richer after emerging second best at the the sixth edition of the coveted Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).

Phillipa who designed an Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) missed out on the top prize by a whisker to Egyptian innovator Aly El-Shafei.

Her invention is aimed at raising the quality of healthcare provision in Africa.

It’s also designed to accurately administer intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.

It is easy to operate and has key safety features, which include alarms for rate of infusion (rapid or slow), total volume (over or under) and faulty sensors.

Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the FEAST trial indicates that over-infusion in children increased the absolute risk of death by 3.3 % at 48 hours.

Erroneous delivery rates can result into serious adverse effects. The ECGF has the potential to save lives by providing accuracy and safety at 8% the cost of a brand new infusion pump

The top three winners; Aly El-Shafei, Philippa Ngaju Makobore  and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia all went home with US$ 5,000 vouchers  to further develop their innovations.


Phillipa is an Electrical Engineer who graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a BSc in Electrical Engineering in 2008.

She briefly worked at MTN from 2009 to 2010 as an intern telecommunications engineer and thereafter sales engineer before venturing into electronics applications design and development at UIRI in early 2011.

She has also laid the foundation for close relationships with academia, research institutes, private companies and societies both locally and internationally for knowledge transfer and capacity building.

A few of these partners include Columbia University in New York, Addis Ababa University, Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Ms. Makobore’s primary interest is in the improvement of the disadvantaged healthcare sector in Uganda.

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