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Journathon awards innovative solutions to problems in Nepal’s pandemic response

Kathmandu, February 19

The Nepal Investigative Multimedia Journalism Network (NIMJN) organised the Nepal Journathon on Covid-19, a one-day hackathon, in its bid to seek solutions to current challenges to the country’s pandemic response.

Five groups consisting of 25 journalists, health professionals, and tech activists worked together in the online event on Thursday to find and create long-term solutions.

They introduced five solutions, among which the organisers awarded three with a prize money that would ideally support the participants to implement their ideas.

A three-member panel including Brown University Alpert Medical School’s Dr Ramu Kharel, NIMJN’s Rajneesh Bhandari and development specialist Sharada Gyawali selected the top three ideas among the five presented based on feasibility, implementability, innovativeness, importance in the context of Nepal and quality of the presentation. Top three ideas were awarded Rs 50,000, Rs 30,000, and Rs 20,000 respectively.

Team Covid Fighters (Nished Ghimire, Kalpana Bhattarai, Ashok Gaire, Prabin Giri, and Dr Anjan Tiwari) won the first prize for their Covid Fighter App that will use Bluetooth Low Energy and Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing system for contact tracing, mask reminder, hand wash reminder, and coronavirus detector.

Likewise, Team Danfe (Dr Navindra Raj Bista,  Dr Prabhat Adhikari,  Phr Kabin Maleku, Er Pawan Adhikari and Amrita Anmol) won the second prize for their idea on solutions for maternal child health, mental health and non-communicable disease during the pandemic using telehealth, telemedicine and counselling through the government-private sharing approach.

Team Ullus won the third prize for their CCTV (COVID-19 checker, tracker, and vaccination) app, a one-stop solution for Covid-19-related issues.

At the start of the programme, Dr Ramu Kharel from Brown University Alpert Medical School and Rajneesh Bhandari, a global multimedia journalist and NIMJN chief editor, had highlighted some of the innovations in the health and media sector.

They both highlighted the importance of the collaboration between health professionals, tech activists and journalists to bring effective results.

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