When it comes to the most occurring causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa, malaria takes the lead. Brian Gitta, 24, from Uganda recently, unveiled a low-cost, reusable tool to detect malaria in its preliminary stages. His invention is called Matibabu, and it won a £25,000 prize from the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK for its exceptional engineering innovation and applicability to healthcare. Currently, he is working with regulators to ensure the product is safe for human use and performing field trials on the device.
Currently, all malaria tests required blood to be drawn which is an expensive, invasive and time-consuming process which had to be conducted in well-resourced and hygienic medical facilities. Malaria is an infectious disease contracted from mosquitos which causes its recipients to experience excessive vomiting, headache, fever, shivering, joint pain, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobin in the urine, retinal damage, and convulsions and if not treated immediately, death. The many preventable deaths due to malaria are more prominent in Africa because of inaccessibility to basic health care in many parts of the continent. Learn more here
By Tia Scoggan, AFJN Policy Researcher