24 Year Old Ugandan Wins Africa prize For Bloodless Malaria Test

22 June 2018 African News News

Malaria alone costs Africa 1.3% of its GDP and most of the children under five years of age who die every day because of malaria are in sub-Saharan Africa.

The disease infects some 300 million to 600 million every year around the world, according to Unicef. But Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for 90% of the world’s 580,000 annual malaria deaths. Read more: https://www.naija.ng/1176495-24-year-ugandan-invents-bloodless-malaria-test-device-wins-33000-africa-prize.html#1176495

After three blood tests failed to diagnose that he had malaria, 24-year-old Brian Gitta decided to apply his engineering skills to find a way to diagnose diseases non-invasively – and he decided to start with malaria, the leading cause of death in his native Uganda.

Brian Gitta,  won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for a device that detects tell-tale signs of malaria by shining a red beam of light on the patient’s finger.

The diagnosis is ready to be shared to a mobile phone in a minute.

Gitta developed the device called Matibabu (meaning “treatment” in Swahili). Matibabu detects tell-tale signs of malaria by shining a red beam of light on the patient’s finger. Its red beam can detect changes in the colour, shape and concentration of red blood cells – all of which are affected by malaria.

Before it can be commercially available, Matibabu has to go through a number of regulatory processes to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the device is safe for human use.

In the meantime, the Matibabu team is busy writing an academic paper on their findings, and they have been approached by several international researchers offering support, and are currently performing field trials on the device.

Mr Gitta has also been awarded £25,000 ($33,000) in prize money from the Royal Academy of Engineering

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