His name is Brian Gitta, a Ugandan engineer who won an award for excellence in the development of a device capable of detecting malaria without spilling a drop of blood.
The 26-year-old Ugandan-born Brian Gitta is the inventor of the malaria test, which can detect malaria without drawing blood.
The name of the treatment, Matibabu, which means << treatment>> in Swahili, is a mobile application developed by Brian and his team.
When a person is infected, the malaria parasite takes a vacuole of red blood cells and remodels it to suit him or her. By attaching Matibabu to a patient’s finger and using light and magnetism, a beam of red light then scans the finger to detect changes in colour, shape, and the concentration of red blood cells in the blood. The inexpensive, reusable device also requires no special training since no blood sampling is required.
Malaria alone costs Africa 1.3% of its GDP. Most of the children under 5 years of age who die every day from this infectious disease are in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the latest World Malaria Report, published in November 2018, there were 219 million cases of malaria in 2017, compared to 217 million in 2016. An estimated 435,000 people will die from the disease in 2017, a figure similar to the previous year.
The WHO African Region bears a disproportionate share of the global malaria burden. In 2016, 90% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths occurred in this region. 80% of the burden of malaria was borne by some 15 countries – all in sub-Saharan Africa, except India.
In 2017, nearly half of the world’s cases were recorded in five countries: Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (11%), Mozambique (5%), India (4%) and Uganda (4%).
So Brian’s ingenious invention is playing its part in the fight against the disease.
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