South African PhD student wins Innovation award at a Swiss Pitchfest

Moses Kebalepile (Boiswana South Africa)

The medical field in Africa seems to be gradually improving, aided by the advancement of technology in this region and its availability thereof. Many Africans have since benefitted from the medical innovations that have emanated from our soils and many are still yet to benefit with the ever evolving revolution that is Technology. Moses Kebalepile is a PhD student from the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences, and he is a young man who has made sure to make an impact in the medical field, starting in his homeland. This is not the first time Moses flies the South African flag high, he is a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Alumni, an effort by President Barack Obama to grow the scope of African leaders.

Moses has created the Asthma Grid, an early warning system for Asthma sufferers, this innovation has been awarded with a top international prize affording Moses global recognition for his ground breaking innovation.
“I think the ecosystem of innovation and technology in the country is evolving, but we’re not evolving rapidly enough. Innovation and technology is the substance of our economic development. And I just want to encourage structures out there to perhaps identify these ideas at an early stage and maybe invest in supporting them earlier,” Moses said.

The wearable sensor allows the user to add personal details. It creates a unique profile, which also takes into account the environment. After blowing into the device, it predicts the patient’s chances of having an attack. Asthma a respiratory condition has claimed the lives of many lives particularly in South Africa and this is what let Moses to come up with his innovation, as also his two siblings are also affected by this condition.

This startup pitchfest organised by Venture Lab takes place under the Swiss-South African Venture leaders Programme (SSAVP), it is a pitch battle between innovators from South Africa and Switzerland. The fact that Moses won is a good story to tell from an African perspective.

It is true that as Africans our adoption of innovation and technology alike has been rather delayed as compared to other parts of the globe, but the flipside of that is that our innovations are ground-breaking and life changing as they solve real challenges that people deal with daily. We take pride in innovators such as Moses who challenge the status quo and innovate to improve the lives of others.