Brenald for touch-free disinfection in public places

Voices of Youth

By Rebecca Phwitiko
“Everyone has an obligation to stop the spread of the virus" says Brenald
UNICEF Malawi/2020/Thoko Chikondi
25 August 2020

Brenald Dzonzi is one of about 8 million children and young people in Malawi whose education was disrupted by COVID-19. He is a final year Electrical and Electronics Engineering student at the University of Malawi. Brenald is passionate about using technology to solve real life problems and is no stranger to design challenges having previously participated in the Global Robotics Competition and the Malawi Innovators Design contest.

Because of COVID-19, Brenald couldn’t finish his final year as scheduled. So now he waits for schools to re-open. Like everyone else, he must follow strict prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public places and washing or sanitizing his hands frequently. “You can no longer go into a shop without a mask. This is a difficult time, but everyone has an obligation to stop the spread of the virus,” says Brenald.

He and a friend designed a hand sanitization unit. The idea is to promote touch-free disinfection in public places, including hospitals. “This unit reduces the time it takes to sanitize hands and has fewer points of contact, so this minimizes the risk of infection. Another advantage of the sanitization unit is that it is made of locally sourced materials to make it easily adoptable,” explains Brenald.

He believes young people must be supported to develop localized solutions that can move the country forward.