Meet the Winner of the 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

An invention by a South African engineer that dispenses pills has won a major African engineering prize. Neo Hutiri invented the Pelebox, a locker patients can unlock with a one-time pin sent to their phone. These lockers cut queues down “from three-and-a-half hours to under 36 seconds”, he told BBC Focus on Africa. South Africa runs the world’s largest HIV/Aids treatment programme which has led to high numbers of patients with repeat prescriptions. Mr Hutiri won the $32,000 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation from the Royal Academy of Engineering. He told the BBC that he came up with the idea after he was diagnosed with TB in 2014 and he went to his clinic to collect medicine. Long queues at pharmacies can be caused by staff shortages and high volumes of patients with chronic illnesses – such as HIV and Aids. Currently six smart locker units are in operation in South Africa and the company is building eight more. He says he will use prize money to help build an assembly section for manufacturing and improve the technology so they can scale up their business better.SOURCE: BBC

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