UNON - United Nations Office at Nairobi

10/29/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/29/2020 07:05

Kenyatta University Students win UN Person of the year Award 2020

A team of 15 Kenyatta University Students who developed the first Mechanical ventilator using locally available material to assist COVID 19 patients in breathing are the 2020 UN in Kenya Persons of the Year. The team who have developed the Tiba-Vent Ventilator that has already received Certification from Kenya Bureau of standards and awaiting clinical trials emerged winners for their innovation after foreseeing a shortage of ventilators due to increased demand occasioned by the global pandemic, and reduced freight travel

Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and Youth Affairs Hon. Joe Mucheru lauded the young innovators and assured them of Government's support when they come up with innovations that work towards finding solutions to the development challenges of our time, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic

'young people are at the heart of our future as a country. You (Kenyatta University Students) have given us reason to believe in ourselves and affirm our innovative aptitudes as a country' he said.

While congratulating the winners, the UN Resident Coordinator, Siddharth Chatterjee said 'Kenya is a Hotbed of innovation' that has shown that the country is ready to build back better, post COVID, while enhancing technology and ensuring that the youth are involved.

'What will make us emerge from the COVID response is how we rethink our new economy that will set the country on a trajectory for prosperity' he added

Others who received UN commendation for their work include Lady Justice Martha Koome for her advocacy on the rights of children in conflict with the law and child victims and Wawira Njiru for leadership during the COVD 19 pandemic where she served 2 million meals to both school children and their parents since the imposition of school closure and dawn to dusk curfews in an effort to provide nutritious meals to Kenyans

'Our role is not to sit and receive, but rather, our role is to harness the opportunities provided to to us' said Ruth Kagia, the Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of policy and strategy at the Executive office of the President.

The Award was introduced in 2002 as the collective UN family of agencies to honor individuals or institution for succeeding to bring to public notice significant issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals, that serve as an inspiration to all Kenyans, and in keeping with the ideals of the UN.

Previous winners have been Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for her beyond zero initiative, Founder of Safari Doctors Umra Omar, Marathon Runner Eliud Kipchoge and Teacher Tabichi