The current Ebola outbreak has claimed the life of almost 5,000 people in West Africa. In response to this devastating outbreak, United States Agency for International Development launched the Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development to help frontline health care workers provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola. DGHI, Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) and five other departments throughout Duke have sponsored the Duke Ebola Innovation Challenge to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among students to generate ideas for the greater USAID challenge.
Over 30 Duke Global Health graduate and undergraduate students have registered for the Duke Ebola Innovation Challenge which was launched at the Fuqua School of Business. These students will sit among 100 other students representing departments across the university from the Trinity School to the Pratt School of Engineering. This challenge requires the students to form groups of four to five students to focus on either strengthening health worker capacities or boosting and tracking communication abilities. Each group of students will submit their solutions and finalists will be selected to publicly present their ideas, providing them with a unique opportunity to receive feedback from a variety of faculty and students prior to their submission to USAID’s grand challenge.
At last night’s kickoff event, Cameron Wolfe, Lead of Duke Ebola Rapid Response Team at Duke University Health System, discussed the current state of the epidemic in the endemic areas. Wolfe supplied the base knowledge needed for the students to complete this challenge as well as identified where there have been shortcomings in the relief effort. Erin Worsham, Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Fuqua School of Business, followed Wolfe with a presentation recognizing different key stakeholders that are needed in the relief effort. She challenged the students to think creatively about their solution and use the diversity of other students to their advantage as they form innovative solutions.
The finalist presentations will be held at 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm, Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at the McClendon Auditorium in the Fuqua School of Business. Please join in this event and support the students!