At the age of 25, Arthur Zang is a young prodigy who is going to help save thousands of lives in African suffering from cardiac pathology.
This young Cameroonian engineer created Cardiopad, the first medical touchpad made in Africa.
The famous Forbes magazine underlined: “in innovation, he represents what Africa has better”.
Arthur Zang is certified in polytechnic school of Yaoundé. During a work experience training at the general hospital of the city three years ago, he noticed that Cameroon has only 30 cardiologists for 20 million inhabitants, shared between the two main cities of the country, Yaoundé – the capital – and the harbor city of Douala. “It means that patients who live in far away villages are obliged to take bus to realize their medical examinations, what raises not only a problem at the level of their medical follow-up but also at the economic level because transport also increases their expenses”
He then launched himself into the achievement of his prototype Cardiopad and thanks to a 30 000-dollar help on behalf of Cameroonian government, he can create Himore Medical, a small firm which employs five persons and whose mission is to conceive and to make medical devices. “We have already made about thirty devices and we are at present, working out a mobile machine which will allow making distance ultrasounds, if we however obtain necessary financing”.
If the audacity and the talent of this young creator are recognized and meet today unanimous approval, Arthur Zang remembered that he indeed had hard times before succeeding: “the first difficulty for young entrepreneurs is the lack of support as we more need it. In order to finance my research works, I turned at first towards banks but they asked me for any sorts of guarantees while at that time I was only a simple researcher at polytechnic school. But in our countries, the function of researcher is not recognized. You are just considered as a jobless person because you have no income”.
His advice for African creators: “Give evidence of perseverance. Very often in Africa, when the project is too complex, people become discouraged and projects as Cardiopad tend to succeed only in environments where research work is really developed, what is not the case in Africa (…) I have some reluctances with regard to people who see revolution in all this because, to have lived in Africa, I am conscious that we have certainly many assets but I also believe that people tend to underestimate brakes in innovation: I mainly think of corruption and absence of investments with regard to research works. As long as we shall not understand in Africa that being a researcher is a full-time job, Africa will not develop. As long as we shall not understand that research work is absolutely a necessary domain and not optional, it will not take-off. If researchers and politicians do not succeed in agreeing on this subject, growth will be facticious because it will not be sustained by anything viable”
Arthur Zang continues his research works in electronic systems introduced today in polytechnic laboratory and he follows a program of free distance education distributed by Indian government.
He has great ambitions for his Cardiopad: “it is a mobile and cheap solution: we plan to market it at 2 million CFA francs (approximately 4 000 US dollars), or a cost twice lower than the one of devices on the market at present. The device is not intended to patients but to hospitals which lend them to patients”.
At 25 years old, he is full of any others projects!
The credo of his touchpad is the same as the one of his life: «believe in life!»
Original text by: Nicolas Coutain