The first health Designathon in Nigeria which was organized to foster the promotion of HIV self-testing among youths nationwide held in Lagos from March 29th to 31st, 2019 at Digital Bridge Institute, Oshodi, Lagos.

The 3-day event, organized by the 4 Youth By Youth Group (4YBY) funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), attracted more than 50 attendees of which 3 out 13 eligible teams that emerged as winners were Team Smart Hustle, and Team Genra, Team B-star – were rewarded with up to N450,000 in cash prizes. They also received entrepreneurship start-up packages (consisting of HIV self-testing kits, condoms, and products for STDs screening).

The participants worked in teams, sharing ideas on how to promote HIV self-testing among youths in Nigeria. During this 3-day event, teams went through the design thinking process and presented their solutions to the judges at the end.

Day 1 | Problem Exploration and Definition
Teams explored and identified the challenge for the weekend. Experts and judges shared the expectations of the challenge with the teams and made sure their solutions were addressed the needs and core issues of young people.

Day 2 | Rapid Prototyping

Building on the insights and inspirations from Day 1, participating teams brought their ideas to life with visual, animated or interactive prototypes, using their preferred tools and materials. Using those inputs, teams further refined their proposed solutions.

Day 3 | Expert Input, Iteration, and Pitch

The top three teams finalized their prototypes, got presentation coaching and shared their stories and final prototype draft to a panel of judges for a chance to win the cash prize and advance to the entrepreneurship boot camp.

The teams were judged on Desirability, Feasibility, Impact, and Teamwork. After the presentations, the judges were very impressed by the quality of solutions from the students and it was a tough choice to pick the winners. However, the judges, eventually awarded cash prizes of N250,000 to Team Smart Hustle, N150,000 to Team Genra and N50,000 to Team B-star.

Overall, the event was a great way for youths to meet and work with people outside their normal social circle. Through this event, the participants took away with them new experiences and a design thinking attitude. Most importantly, they learned that with any product or service being designed or engineered, the core is its users. This Designathon has paved the way for Nigerian youths to take the lead in combating HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).