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USAID Examines Academia Concepts for Anti-Ebola Fight; Rajiv Shah Comments

Rajiv Shah
Rajiv Shah

The U.S. Agency for International Development is reviewing several prototypes submitted by Columbia University undergraduates that aim to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Mohana Ravindranath writes the biomedical engineering students developed suits with internal cooling technologies for use by healthcare workers deployed in Ebola-stricken areas in West Africa.

Fairfax, Virginia-based Qore Performance adapted its cooling pack for the protective suits, according to the report.

“If we had better tools and technology that were developed for this purpose, we could be even more efficient and effective,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah told the Post.

Nearly 25 teams demonstrated their ideas to USAID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Defense Department as part of USAID’s Ebola Grand Challenge with up to $5 million in grants, Ravindranath reports.

Wendy Taylor, director of the agency’s Center for Accelerating Innovation, told the Post USAID plans to deploy the products in affected areas over the next few months.

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