BubbleCPAP machine wins DIT Design Competition

Written by: Julia Jenjezwa

Contributor: Carrie Noxon

On May 25, 2021, the DIT Design Studio announced the winners of its first Annual Design Competition. The Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) Design Studio is an advanced maker space at the university Dar es Salaam Institute for Technology in Tanzania. This competition marks the first of its kind hosted by the DIT Design Studio to recognize and award local innovation in Tanzania.
“We wanted to showcase to the world, that this is what young African, young Tanzanian engineers and innovators can do,” said DIT Design Studio Manager, Julia Jenjezwa. “We encourage innovators to come up with innovations that solve problems in our society. This competition is meant to inspire innovators but also organize their work so they can take their work to the next level.”
Julia Jenjezwa

Design Studio Manager, DIT

Competition sponsors included the Lemelson Foundation and Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies.

First place went to Sandra Sommi (computer engineering) and Arslan Dogar (mechanical engineering) for their low-cost, bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) device. The inter-disciplinary team was inspired to create a bCPAP that could be manufactured locally in Tanzania to support hospital staff treating newborns with respiratory distress syndrome, which claims 3 million newborn lives annually in low resource environments. The team focused on designing the device to be cost effective, portable, easily maintained, and easy to use. Their device was designed in response to needs identified at the Muhimbili Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
First place awarded to A. Dogar and S. Somi for their bCPAP design (credit DIT Design Studio)
Joel Ngoko (electronics and telecommunications engineering) won second place for his project that focused on improving the handwashing stations used at the DIT canteen. His touchless system for dispensing soap and water limits the opportunity to transmit infectious disease by manually opening the soap and water dispensers. He designed the station to be height adjustable to better serve people of all heights, including children and disabled individuals who might not be able to reach the existing handwashing stations.
Second place winner J. Ngoko’s handwashing station (credit DIT Design Studio)
Third place went to Napendael Msangi (electronics and telecommunications engineering) for her design of a CPR training model that measures the compression depth and rate of a person practicing CPR. The competition also highlighted the importance of invention education at design studios like DIT. For students like Msangi, this experience has been transformative. She encourages other young engineers to, “… Use platforms like the DIT Design Studio. [It is] a place to make your dreams come true. If you have the dream to make things for hospitals or other areas, then this is where you get to learn how to develop [your idea] from scratch, to take [the idea] through the different prototyping stages, until you get to the commercialization level,” said Msangi.
N. Msangi wins third place for her CPR model
(credit DIT Design Studio)

“Future students need to be aware of the existence of the Design Studio so they can use their talents and innovative minds to work in the studio to come up with solutions for the society. I call on students to come and showcase their talents, because the society needs it.” — ((DIT))
Dr. Dalton Kisanga

DIT, Computer Studies Department

After the success of the first competition, the DIT Design Studio plans to host this event annually. “We see amazing innovators in the Design Studio every day,” said Jenjezwa. “One thing we do not have a shortage of in the DIT Design Studio is really curious students with great ideas, these ideas should be celebrated and promoted, to encourage the next generation of innovators.