An Internet crowdsourcing initiative from the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) offers $1 million for the best, novel design for an anti-contamination suit for healthcare workers fighting the Ebola outbreak.
Ebola is a disease that can spread rapidly through bodily fluids. According to the World Health Organization the most infectious fluids are blood, faeces and vomit, although the virus has also been detected in breast milk, urine and semen. The virus can also be transmitted indirectly, through contact contaminated objects and surfaces.
More and more workers are getting infected, despite the strict measures. That is why the Usaid started the initiative called ‘’Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development.’ Usaid is searching for the best anti-contamination suit for healthcare workers who are fighting the Ebola outbreak. They are also looking for suits that provide cooling shields given the humid conditions in Africa and suits that are designed to be reusable. Each successful design accepted by the agency is capable of being awarded $1 million, ahead of any production run.
Many of the personal protection suits are usable one-time only and when they are thrown away without proper care, they increase the risk of accidental contamination.
Today (25 October 2014) there are more than then thousand people infected with Ebola all around the world. Already 4.992 people died, because of this virus. Especially Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are heavily affected. There is still no medication against the virus, it is therefore important that the virus does not spread further.
Do you think crowdsourcing is a good idea to find the best anti-contamination suit for healthcare workers fighting the Ebola outbreak?