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Opinions of Monday, 15 March 2021

Columnist: Stephen Haizel

Engineering the pandemic solution: A review

Ing. Ebenezer Kwesi Haizel, Esq. FGhIE Chair, Welfare Committee and Legal advisor to GhIE Ing. Ebenezer Kwesi Haizel, Esq. FGhIE Chair, Welfare Committee and Legal advisor to GhIE

Engineering creates products, processes and systems that address economic and societal needs. A pandemic is a system, society is a system and Engineers are used to thinking in systems. Engineering the pandemic solution requires the Engineer to model the pandemic system in the real world such as the modelling in the manufacturing processes.

So far Engineers have been working to meet the challenges posed by the COVID – 19 pandemic in identifying the genetic structure of the virus SARS – CoV-2.

The scale-up of therapeutics and vaccines to billions of doses presents a huge engineering challenge. The same is true for manufacturing therapeutics. In engineering, the pandemic solution, the integrity of the supply chain is of utmost importance.

This requires automation and process control to the industry’s development of those diagnostics. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to facilitate the rapid development of therapeutics and vaccines have become very necessary. Increase in testing capability.

Successfully engineering the pandemic will provide new platforms. Zoom is not the end - more competitors which will produce many jobs are underway. We are also learning more about education which affords more companies emerging around homeschooling and education.

Much of the economy will come back in information technology and manufacturing - and then in the service industry because we will need to service all these things. The COVID -19 pandemic solution will lead to more economic development once we control it through engineering.

Engineering the pandemic solution can help us prepare for the next pandemic.

Ing Haizel is a presidential hopeful for the Ghana Institution of Engineers. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Welfare Committee and doubles as the legal advisor to the GhIE. Ing Ebenezer Kwesi Haizel served as the Legal consultant for the drafting of the legislative Instrument underpinning the Engineering Council Act 2011 (Act 819), which has now been promulgated by parliament as Engineering Council Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2410).