New Malaria Test Wins Prestigious Engineering Prize

A new non-invasive malaria test kit, called Matibabu, has been created which doesn’t require blood samples or specialized laboratory technicians.

The test kit was developed by Brian Gitta, a 25-year-old Ugandan computer scientist who has won the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

The award is given by the Royal Academy of Engineering in Britain and it comes with a cash prize of £25,000 ($32,940).

Medical Xpress has reported that this reusable test kit works by flashing a red light beam onto a finger to spot changes in the red blood cells’ concentration, shape, and color that are affected by Malaria.

In only a minute, results are sent to a mobile phone or computer connected to the device.

People in rural areas can benefit from this test since many malaria cases occur in these places. They don’t need to send blood samples to a faraway laboratory and wait a long time for the results.

It is hoped that this test will soon become widely used in Africa, particularly in rural areas.

Gitta and his team is working on the the fifth-generation prototype of Matibabu which has an 80% accuracy rate. Their goal is to improve the test once it has an accuracy rate over 90%.

The test hasn’t undergone clinical trials yet under Ugandan safety and ethics regulations.

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