Connect with us

World News

Opinion: Young Jamaican’s invention could help tackle spread of viruses like COVID-19

Published

on

Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General

Five years ago more than 40 babies born in Jamaican hospitals became infected with lethal bacteria – half of them died.

The bacteria Klebsiella, like the coronavirus, is spread from person-to-person or via contaminated surfaces. It can be killed by hand-washing with warm soapy water.

The situation caught the attention of technology student Rayvon Stewart based in Jamaica who set about finding a way to curb the spread of harmful germs.

“I made a determined decision that I was going to find a solution to limit the transfer of pathogens to multiple surfaces, thereby saving lives,” says Rayvon.

Young innovators in health

I met Rayvon at the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting (CHMM) in Geneva last year. He was among the finalists shortlisted for last year’s Commonwealth Health Innovation Awards. He took part in an exhibition on the theme ‘Universal Health Coverage: Reaching the unreached, ensuring that no-one is left behind’ which highlighted how young people are tackling age-old challenges with modern technology and disruptive thinking.

The event underlined Commonwealth commitment to empowering young people as outlined in our charter and also our contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

I spoke to five extraordinary innovators who made it as finalists of the Commonwealth Health Innovation Awards which recognise outstanding young people whose groundbreaking projects have made a real impact in helping their countries achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is to ‘ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’.

William Wasswa was working on a digital pathology platform for automated diagnosis and classification of cervical cancer from pap-smear images. Then there was Midia Hassan using 3D printing technology to provide prosthetics to amputees living in refugee camps and poverty zones.

Another timely invention is that of Nitash Jangir who was one of 15 finalists at our SDG innovation awards. Nitash invented a neonatal breathing support device for low resource settings, with multiple powering options. It maintains respiration and oxygenation in premature neonates with Respiratory Distress Syndrome by providing constant airflow and pressure to keep the lungs open during transport to a tertiary care setting.

I was struck by the ability of young minds to find solutions to real problems in their communities, and their persistence in finding support to scale-up their projects.

In Rayvon’s case, he focused on the most common places where bacteria and viruses could easily be left by one person and picked up directly by another. He came up with what he calls ‘Xermosol’- a simple-to-install device that automatically disinfects door knobs and handles after each use.

The innovation uses ultraviolet light to target and specifically kill harmful microorganisms, while being harmless to human beings.

The potential to save lives

The potential impact of Rayvon’s invention could now be even more important than when he first conceived it, as the world battles the frightening COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus lives up to two or three days on stainless steel and metal, and several hours on fabric depending on factors such as temperature and humidity.

Field and laboratory testing has validated Xermosol’s efficiency in killing more than 99.9% of deadly pathogens. In addition to health facilities, Rayvon hopes it could help reduce transmission of germs in other public spaces such as schools and businesses.

Tests carried out in conjunction with University of Technology, Jamaica and University of the West Indies show Xermosol destroys organisms such as MRSA and E-coli and destroys viral cells such as influenza virus H1N1.

This is a huge step in the fight against microorganisms and offers new ways of thinking around combatting viral cells such as Coronavirus.

Supporting young people to innovate

Rayvon says the recognition he received from the Commonwealth Health Innovation Awards was a key moment in Xermosol’s progress, generating immense interest in the project.

But now the production of Xermosol faces a number of considerable challenges – from development funding to finding a manufacturer to mass produce.

Financing options are mostly focused on large-scale innovation, but the Commonwealth is exploring and proposing that all 54 member-countries go into partnership with the Global Innovation Fund to help young innovators like Rayvon.

Over the past two years, the Commonwealth Youth Health Network has worked closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat and member states to leverage the unique capabilities of young people and drive forward progress toward SDG3 (which includes a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases) and health-related development goals.

Citizens aged under 30 comprise 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s population – a proportion that is 10 per cent higher than the global average. In the course of my interaction in and with our member countries I am continually impressed by the drive of these 1.4 billion young people. They have the ideas, energy and talent to make a huge difference in their communities – and they are doing so.

By Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General

Advertisement

World News

Squid Game is Netflix’s ‘biggest ever’ series launched

Published

on

Netflix says “Squid Game” is its biggest series launch of all time. (more…)

Continue Reading

World News

Tyga accused of domestic violence by ex-girlfriend Camaryn Swanson

Published

on

Tyga is facing accusations of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend. (more…)

Continue Reading

World News

Demi Lovato claims the word ‘alien’ is offensive to extraterrestrials

Published

on

Demi Lovato thinks the word “alien” is offensive to extraterrestrials. (more…)

Continue Reading

World News

WATCH: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson makes rap debut

Published

on

Dwayne The Rock Johnson made his rap debut with Tech Nine’s new single “Face Off”. (more…)

Continue Reading

World News

Nardo Wick recruits Lil Durk, 21 Savage & G Herbo for “Who Want Smoke??”

Published

on

Nardo Wick has just dropped the highly-anticipated new version of his smash-hit “Who Want Smoke??” featuring Lil Durk, 21 Savage, & G Herbo. The track includes a show-stopping verse from Durk, displaying the depths of his fiery and confrontational style, a noteworthy inclusion from 21 Savage reminiscent of his earliest days on the mic, and G Herbo delivering the thrilling and seasoned bars he’s renowned for. The song not only capitalizes on the virality of “Who Want Smoke?”, but also serves as a masterclass in collaborating from some of the most prominent artists in the game. Each verse builds on the next, with the superstar additions sticking to theme that Nardo laid out on the original “Who Want Smoke?”, signaling the unwavering faith that Durk, 21, and Herb have in the 19-year old Jacksonville emcee. This collaboration comes on the heels of Durk & Lil Babybringing Nardo to perform the viral record at their tour stop in Orlando, receiving an electrifying response from the Floridan crowd. Though the original song has already amassed a whopping 60 million streams and counting, these carefully curated contributions only further solidify “Who Want Smoke??” as one of the biggest records of the year.

“This next chapter of my career is to give every project I work on my full attention. If I want to be proud of all the videos I work on, then I must never rush the process. I want it to be a great viewing experience every time. The goal is to create timeless quality art that inspires and motivates me, and hopefully it can inspire and motivate those beyond me as well. I view the “Who Want Smoke??” video as the opening page of this new chapter.”
Cole Bennett

Nardo Wick bursted onto the scene in mid-2020 with a string of releases, including “Lolli”, “Slide”, and “Came Up.” Music gave the shy teen an outlet to channel his angst and was accompanied by a fast-following. Though he’s soft-spoken off the mic, when Nardo enters the booth, the raps he produces are dynamic and haunting––a reflection of Jacksonville’s turbulent hip-hop scene. In 2021, Wick transitioned from making buzzing records to inescapable anthems. “Who Want Smoke?” became a widespread hit, achieving over 60 million streams as well as placements on Rap Caviar and Hip Hop Hits. The song reflected a menacing teen with a no-nonsense approach to life and music balancing between being captivating and fearsome. “Who Want Smoke?” is a frequent soundtrack to viral content on social media, with the most recent inclusion being Florida A&M’s marching band, the Marching 100, doing a live-rendition of the hit song during the halftime show for their game against Alabama State University. Hit-producer Cardo Got Wings laced Nardo for a last-minute request to appear on February’s Judas And The Black Messiah: The Inspired Album. That album topped the charts upon release, putting Nardo Wick alongside the biggest stars of Hip-Hop and R&B. Wick followed this with the Nick Mira-produced “Pull Up” in July. In August, Nardo released “I Be Chillin”, an exciting addition to his growing discography. Throughout the run, the budding rapper has received praise from Passion of the Weiss, Lyrical Lemonade, and DJ Booth, who included him in a recent “10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now” list. Recently COMPLEXnamed Nardo among their list of “Best Jacksonville Rappers.”

Continue Reading

World News

James Bond star Daniel Craig gets Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Published

on

Daniel Craig has capped the launch week of his final James Bond movie by becoming the 2,704th celebrity to be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. (more…)

Continue Reading

Win

Watching gossip makes playing online a much more enjoyable experience. A good show can certainly improve any immersion. The bitcoin casino scene has exceptional games available for you to play while watching your shows. Crypto casino is a great way to mix gaming, and gossip, as you can watch all your shows, and it will be an enjoyable experience.

Trending