Dorothy Mangale (Class of 2008, pictured third from the right) was part of a team of five Kenyan students who participated in an innovation challenge initiated by Duke University in partnership with OpenIDEO, to come up with scalable ideas to address the problem of ebola in West Africa.
Their ties to Africa were one of the key reasons they decided to become involved, says Dorothy who is studying for a MSc in Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute, 'While the ebola epidemic is not currently affecting my country, Kenya has strong transient roots and an open society so I keep thinking “What if?”'
Dorothy’s group includes global health, medical and computer science students and together the devised a mobile app with a ‘decision tree’ that will help people figure out whether a person's symptoms would warrant a visit to an ebola clinic. An extension of the app would also alert a central agency of any suspected cases to allow them to send an ambulance or treatment as soon as possible.
The team was placed second (out of 22 submissions) and are now looking for further opportunities to develop and scale the idea, including funding opportunities.