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Respiratory technologies for new-borns win 2023 The Nigeria Prize for Science

The Advisory Board of The Nigeria Prize for Science today announced a novel scientific work on respiratory technologies for keeping Nigerian new-born babies alive by Professor Hippolite Amadi as the winner of the 2023 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Science.

Professor Amadi wins the Prize worth $100,000. The Prize is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).

The Prize’s Advisory Board, led by Professor Barth Nnaji, announced the judges’ verdict based on the 2023 theme “Innovation for Enhancement of Healthcare Therapy” at a press conference in Lagos.

Reacting to the verdict, Mr. Andy Odeh, NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, said the decision of the judges was a testament to the power of collaboration between the private sector, academia, and the broader scientific community. He stated that the outcome emphasised the need for collective responsibility to nurture and support innovative solutions that hold the promise of transforming the country, adding that it aligns perfectly with NLNG’s vision of “helping to build a better Nigeria” where ground-breaking ideas flourish, and every life is valued and protected.

“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 new-borns. At NLNG, we are proud to be part of a legacy that puts saving lives at the forefront of scientific pursuit,” he said.

Referring to the judges’ report, Professor Nnaji said the work by Professor Amadi has not only significantly advanced neonatal care in Nigeria and similar countries, but it has 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.

“The entry showcased three (3) 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,” he stated.

He stated further that the devices have been tried by practitioners at various hospitals across Nigeria, adding that there are reports from those hospitals that the innovation, PoliteCPAP, is an improvement on the existing device as it provides access to ventilators and oxygen delivery simultaneously to neonates at an extremely reduced cost of N750,000 as against N6.5 million for the existing device with comparable and better efficiency.

Professor 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 Imo State University. His career spans over three decades, cutting across engineering in healthcare, orthopaedics, and neonatology research. He is also the author of the book “Born to Live, Not to Die.”

The decision on the winning entry was reached by a panel of judges, led by Professor Joseph Ahaneku, a Professor of Chemical Pathology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. Other panel members include Professor Olaitan Alice Soyannwo, a professor of Anaesthesia at the University of Ibadan, and Professor Abdullahi A. Abba, a Professor of Medicine and Pulmonology at Ahmadu Bello University.

On the prize’s Advisory Board, in addition to Professor Nnaji, are Chief Dr. Nike Akande, a two-time minister and former President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Professor Yusuf Abubakar, a professor of Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics and the Coordinator of the Agriculture Group, R & D Standing Committee, at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

Yemi Adeyemi
Acting Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager

Akubuiro, Gomba, Ojomu make 2023 Shortlist of Three for The Nigeria Prize for Literature
The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature has announced the finalists for the 2023 edition of the Prize. The shortlisted plays in alphabetical order of their titles are:

• Grit by Obari Gomba
• The Ojuelegba Crossroads by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu
• Yamtarawala – The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro

The Nigeria Prize for Literature is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) and carries a cash award of $100,000. A total of 143 plays were entered for the competition, which focuses on drama.

The Chairperson of the Advisory Board, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, made the announcement in a live broadcast on the Prize’s social media channels.

According to the Board, the plays stand tall in terms of dramatology, language, performance, story, and structure. The Board also said the plays represent the pinnacle of literary craftsmanship and the artistic convergence that The Nigeria Prize for Literature tirelessly seeks.

The Board stated: “For Grit by Obari Gomba, the judges have applauded it as a great play that transcends its covers. Its pages unfold a captivating narrative that has clearly left an indelible mark and its production quality is nothing short of excellent.

The Ojuelegba Crossroads by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu has deeply resonated with the judges, who commend its rich exploration of our socio-political fabric. The play’s ability to confront everyday struggles and decision-making conflicts while aiming for a harmonious resolution underscores its significant impact.

“Yamtarawala – The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro captured the judges’ admiration for its dramatic twists, rendering it not only suited for the stage but also the screen. The narrative unfolds in ways that evoke a profound sense of engagement and excitement.”

“Our dedicated judges and the Advisory Board over the years have consistently worked together to seamlessly blend the contemporary heartbeat with the essence of Nigerian literature. This Shortlist serves as a testament to this harmonious fusion and the enduring legacy of our nation’s literary landscape,” the Board added.

The winner will be announced by the Advisory Board on October 13, 2023.
Professor Victor K. Yankah from the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, serves as the International Consultant for this year’s edition of the Prize.

This same time four years ago in the Drama genre, Soji Cole (Embers), Denja Abdullahi (Death and The King’s Grey Hair) and Akanji Nasiru (The Rally) were announced in the 2018 Shortlist of Three. Soji Cole went on to win the Prize. Other playwrights who had been listed in the shortlist in previous years are Friday John Abba (Alekwu Night Dance), Jude Idada (Oduduwa, King of the Edos) and Sam Ukala (Iredi War – Winner) in 2014; Irobi Esiaba (Cemetery Road- Winner), Ahmed Yerima (Little Drops), and Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba (The Killing Swamp) in 2010; and Emeka Egwuda (Esoteric Dialogue), Femi Osofisan (Ajayi Crowther) and Ahmed Yerima (Hard Ground- Winner) in 2006.

Other members of the Advisory Board include Professor Olu Obafemi and Professor Ahmed Yerima.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary categories – prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.

Andy Odeh
General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development