Smart drug locker wins top African prize

by FariedaJune 5, 2019

An invention by a South African engineer that keeps secure and then dispenses pills to patients has won a major African engineering prize.

Neo Hutiri, 31, was announced as the winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, in the Ugandan capital, Kamapla, on Tuesday evening.

Mr Hutiri had to present his invention, along with three other finalists, to a panel of judges and an audience who then voted for what they thought was the best innovation.

Along with a medal, the engineer and his team have won $32,000 (£25,000).

Mr Hutiri’s invention, the Pelebox, “is a simple wall of lockers, controlled by a digital system,” the Royal Academy of Engineering says.

The lockers are stocked by healthcare workers and the patients receive a code to open the locker and get their medicine.

This keeps the medicine safe as well as dramatically reduce waiting times at clinics.

The other inventions in the final were a “high-tech glove that translates sign language to text and speech, a currency exchange platform that moves money between users to reduce the need for foreign exchange… and a business giving women in low-income families access to sustainable, off-grid housing,” the Royal Academy of Engineering says.


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