Professor Hippolite Amadi Wins NLNG 2023 Nigeria Prize For Science

Professor Hippolite Amadi, a professor of Medical Engineering and Technology,  has emerged winner of the NLNG 2023 Nigeria Prize for Science.

The Advisory Board of the Nigeria Prize for Science led by Professor Barth Nnaji disclosed this at a press conference organised by the Nigeria LNG Limited, in Lagos on September 21, 2023.

Professor Nnaji said the winner, whose novel scientific work on respiratory technologies has helped to keep Nigerian newborn babies alive, was selected from 100 entries.

He noted that Professor Hippolite Amadi was recognised for his innovative work in the field of newborn and child health titled, “Innovation for Enhancement of Healthcare Therapy”.

Citing the judges’ report, Nnaji said the work by Amadi had not only significantly advanced neonatal care in Nigeria and similar countries but also further improved access and lowered the cost of neonatal care by causing an observed reduction in the market prices of the competing and existing devices.

In the words of Professor Barth Nnaji:

“The entry showcased three technological innovations aimed at saving the lives of neonates by making the delivery of oxygen cheap and easy.

The first innovation is the non-invasive Neonatal Ventilator, a key invention (The bubble PoliteCPAP) for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilation of very-low-birth-weight neonates, a feasible alternative to the readily available improvised bubble CPAP (IBCPAP) in cost-constrained settings.

The second and third innovations are the Oxygen Delivery Blender System, which allows for the safe delivery of oxygen without the danger of toxicity, and the Oxygen Splitter System, which allows for the use of a shared source of oxygen to many neonates at a time, in situations where piped oxygen is not available. These devices are all solar powered.”

According to him, the devices have been tried by practitioners at various hospitals across Nigeria. He added that there are reports from those hospitals that the innovation, PoliteCPAP, is an improvement on the existing device.

He affirmed that the devices provide access to ventilators and oxygen delivery simultaneously to neonates at an extremely reduced cost of ₦750,000 as against ₦6.5 million for the existing device with comparable and better efficiency.

Speaking at the event, NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mr. Andy Odeh, said the decision of the judges was a testament to the power of collaboration between the private sector, academia, and the broader scientific community.

According to Mr. Andy Odeh:

“We are honoured and deeply moved by the judges’ decision to recognize the ground-breaking innovation in respiratory technology that has been awarded the Nigeria Prize for Science in 2023.

This invention not only represents a remarkable leap forward in medical science but also serves as a beacon of hope for the most vulnerable among us – our neonates.

It reminds us that true progress is measured not only in scientific achievement but in the lives it touches and saves.

Today, we celebrate the impact that innovation can have in enhancing healthcare therapy and safeguarding the futures of countless newborns. At NLNG, we are proud to be part of a legacy that puts saving lives at the forefront of scientific pursuit.”

Professor Hippolite Amadi is a visiting professor of Medical Engineering and Technology at Imperial College London, with a special interest in the development of affordable medical systems.

Prior to his work at Imperial College, he was a professor of Medical Technology at the Imo State University. His career spans over three decades, cutting across engineering in healthcare, orthopedics, and neonatology research.

He is also the author of the book “Born to Live, Not to Die.”

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